Garden

The Garden

by Zero 7
     
 

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In Zero 7's last album, When It Falls, there were more than noticeable hints that the band was taking the idea of a pop song a lot more seriously, which should then make it unsurprising that with Garden they've stepped even further in that direction, all but leaving their downbeat roots behind.

Overview

In Zero 7's last album, When It Falls, there were more than noticeable hints that the band was taking the idea of a pop song a lot more seriously, which should then make it unsurprising that with Garden they've stepped even further in that direction, all but leaving their downbeat roots behind. Instead of being what the music is based around, the synthesized aspects once so prominent now act more like the thread that sews the different squares of the quilt together and keeps them in place. The actual substance, the fabric, is much more organic; it's the guitars, the keyboards, the horns, and the rich vocal harmonies. Sia returns as a guest artist, as does Swedish star José González, whose Jim Croce-esque voice works fantastically with the verdant plot of land that Zero 7 has managed to cultivate. The songs are creative and interesting, explorative without losing their focus or their point, moving about from being in love to reflections on life to obsession. "Throw It All Away" has a nice, easy summer groove, "Today" uses sparser instrumentals over electronic percussion, the vibraphone in "The Pageant of the Bizarre" adds a circusy, Air-like feel, and "Crosses," which first appeared on González's album Veneer, is embellished with changing dynamics, a Fleetwood Mac-esque piano line, plenty of keyboard effects, and a string section. While Sia's emotive voice has been long proven to be an excellent fit with Zero 7's music, the relative flatness of González's adds a nice texture to the rolling movement behind it. And main songwriter Henry Binns, who also take lead vocals occasionally, is a master at adding harmonies that bring a kind of light pastoral intensity to the pieces, and gives them a great sense of structure. With Garden, Zero 7 has created what could be the ultimate summer evening record: warm pop hooks, lush instrumentation, unobtrusive electronica elements, and '60s-style harmonies that all come together into superb, wonderfully descriptive songs. And what could be better than that?

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe - Christopher Muther
"The Garden" is the sonic equivalent to a three Bloody Mary brunch that stretches into the late afternoon, when the sun becomes filtered through leaves and the mood shifts from bright-eyed to slightly woozy and just a touch too warm.
Los Angeles Daily News - Emmanuelle Soichet
On first listen, it's a disorienting break from British duo Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker's characteristic acid jazz sound, with upbeat pop and a cappella gospel suddenly crashing into acoustic nothingness.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2006
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0825646338023
catalogNumber:
63380
Rank:
72298

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zero 7   Primary Artist
Sally Herbert   Strings
Henry Binns   Vocals,Background Vocals
Henry Collins   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Nigel Godrich   Acoustic Guitar
Paul Jayasinha   Trumpet
Peter North   Bass Trombone
Sia   Vocals
Paul Booth   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Valerie Etienne   Background Vocals
Yvonne John Lewis   Background Vocals
Nathan Bray   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Darren Wiles   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Dedi Madden   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Robin Mullarkey   Bass,Electric Bass,Vibes
Martin Williams   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Barnaby Dickinson   Trombone
José González   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Simon Willescroft   Alto Saxophone
Tom Skinner   Drums

Technical Credits

Eddie Stevens   Horn Arrangements
Henry Binns   Audio Production
Sam Hardaker   Audio Production
Nigel Godrich   Engineer
Zero 7   Producer
Phil Brown   Engineer
Gid London   Artwork

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