When It Falls

When It Falls

4.6 5
by Zero 7
     
 
You may not know the names Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, but chances are you've heard the seductive grooves of their musical imprint, Zero 7, emanating from a cool café, club, or boutique. Their debut album, 2001's Simple Things, gave down-tempo dance music a wider appeal, instilling the duo's sinewy rhythms and

Overview

You may not know the names Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, but chances are you've heard the seductive grooves of their musical imprint, Zero 7, emanating from a cool café, club, or boutique. Their debut album, 2001's Simple Things, gave down-tempo dance music a wider appeal, instilling the duo's sinewy rhythms and Air-y synths with a smooth soul, courtesy of vocal contributions from Sia Furler, Mozez, and Sophie Barker (the voice on the trippy single "Destiny"). For their follow-up, Hardaker and Binns don't fix what ain't broke: All three singers return, as does the London pair's seamless blend of synths, slithery beats, and jazz-tinged live instrumentation -- fans of Norah Jones will dig the organ solos on retro-daubed tunes such as "Somersault" and the meditative "The Space Between," a showcase for the knowing vocals of newcomer Tina Dico. While the disc boasts a consistent and compelling vibe, Hardaker and Binns -- onetime remixers for Radiohead and Lenny Kravitz -- work with some variety within their chosen mood, from the synth-drenched, mostly instrumental "Look Up," which casts them as the heir to producers such as David Axelrod, to the spare "In Time," where a delicate web of sound, chiefly acoustic guitars, forms a backdrop for Barker's dreamy singing. "Take some time, just hang around a while," she beckons, and the easygoing songs, enchanting singers, and graceful production on When It Falls make it hard to disobey.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Downbeat acts proceed down the middle of the road at their own peril. While such a path may guarantee them a lucrative career in Starbucks outlets and on crossover compilations, the onset of advanced musicianship and mature songwriting often comes at the expense of artistic ability (see the steady downward fall of Groove Armada for an example). Zero 7, one of the few acts following in the wake of Air that had the talent to match, debuted with a record (Simple Things) that featured some of the warmest, most mellifluous tracks heard in electronic music since Moon Safari. When It Falls, their second record, finds the duo largely sticking to the same formula, with all the sinewy basslines and languorous vocals that follow along. As before, Zero 7 is more of a band than most downbeat acts, with credits for bass, guitar, and drums plus keyboards, brass, flute, and strings. Much of the record is nearly perfect downbeat, and the productions of Zero 7 main men Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns mesh perfectly with the instrumentation -- so well, in fact, that the record threatens to sink into a nether region of pop music that's both flawless and harmless, more adult alternative than electronic pop. There's nothing wrong with that prospect, but when a downbeat act begins to emulate a pop act, the situation practically demands developed songs and tighter hooks. Unfortunately, only a few tracks here meet those criteria. Fortunately, though, they are beautiful indeed. On "Home," new addition Tina Dico summons the downy, pastoral yearning that's become de rigueur for downbeat female vocalists, and the returning Sia Furler shines on a track ("Somersault") that's simultaneously spacy and down-home. Sophie Barker, the star of Simple Things' "Destiny," returns for "In Time," one of the sweetest tracks Zero 7 has ever produced. The rest of the record, however, possesses very few of the unburnished edges needed by albums with character or personality. When It Falls reaches a nadir of sorts on "The Space Between," a pleasant song that unfortunately descends into self-parody over the course of its six minutes -- two minutes of which are taken up by an overripe harmonica solo.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/02/2004
Label:
Elektra / Wea
UPC:
0825646155828
catalogNumber:
61558
Rank:
38027

Tracks

  1. Warm Sound
  2. Home
  3. Somersault
  4. Over Our Heads
  5. Passing By
  6. When It Falls
  7. The Space Between
  8. Look Up
  9. In Time
  10. Speed Dial No. 2
  11. Morning Songs

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zero 7   Primary Artist
Sally Herbert   Violin,Leader
Gerard Presencer   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Brass
Jeremy Stacey   Drums
Eddie Stevens   Hammond Organ,Moog Synthesizer
Crispin Taylor   Drums
Nigel Godrich   Guitar,Sounds
Alan Simpson   Acoustic Guitar
Dan Lipman   Flute
Neil Cowley   Clavinet,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Siobhan Lamb   Flute
Adam Glasser   Harmonica
Sia   Vocals
Yvonne John Lewis   Vocals,Background Vocals
Brilliant Strings   Strings
Dedi Madden   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Robin Mullarkey   Bass
Peter Trotman   Bass
Barnaby Dickinson   Trombone
Tina Dico   Vocals

Technical Credits

O.V. Wright   Composer
Sophie Barker   Composer
Gerard Presencer   Brass Arrangment,Woodwind Arrangement
Henry Binns   Composer
Sam Hardaker   Composer
D. Madden   Composer
Sia   Composer
Zero 7   Producer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is great. If you liked "Simple Things"you will love this one. It is a little more downtempo than simple things. Every track is good. Let it play or put it on random all of the songs blend nicely it doesn't matter. Trust me buy it , you'll be glad you did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This second album by ZERO7 is so perfect. "When It Falls" has may more vocals then their debut "Simple Things" however the singing and lyrics are perfection. This album is an A+ while the first one was only an A.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The British duo of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, otherwise known as Zero 7, are Air without irony. When It Falls is absolutely busting with floaty Fender Rhodes keyboard riffs, plucked acoustic guitars, billowing cornets and sexy vocalists. It's all purpose-built for a lights-low, aftershow party for two. "Somersault" burbles with Velveeta bass and simmers with a feline soul vocal by Sia Furler, and "Passing By" has a seven-layer rhythm underneath the vintage-keyboard vamping and Barbarella sound effects. The deliciously slow "In Time" features an effortlessly gorgeous vocal by Sophie Barker, and its beats and pieces tumble along with a rustic, quasi-western feel, as if Zero 7 have bizarrely reinvented Harvest-era Neil Young as a zipperless, untortured electronic producer. It's very sexy, though not exactly romantic. When It Falls is akin to a fabulous one-night stand: It feels great, it's very easy, and it requires absolutely no love or commitment at all. PAT BLASHILL
Guest More than 1 year ago
nice, but not as good as the first one, which was overated anyway...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago