Release Date: 11.23.02
Record label: Quango / Palm
by: bill aicher
While at times Air seemed to be creating space-lounge music for the technical and "out-there" aspect of it, Zero 7's approach is decidedly deeper, making Simple Things a spaced-out ecstatic soul-groove. It's an album of lust, spirituality, and empowerment; and it's an album which will undoubtedly increase the world's population as a result of its mere existence.
Ripe with ethereal sweeps and bleeps culminating in a musical pastiche of sexploration, Simple Things is a marvelous experiment in chilled-out electronica. True, the similarities to Air's Virgin Suicides score and (even more so) Moon Safari are obvious, but its only in their skin that the two are brothers.
The album's immensely popular single, "Destiny" is worth the price of admission to this space jam alone. With glorious vocals by Sia Furker and Sophie Barker, it's a sublime cut so swank even Dan the Automator felt it a necessary inclusion on his latest mix album, Wanna Buy a Monkey?. It's beautiful Waking Life-meets-A-Ha video aside, it's a moniker to the space-chill movement - and only one of fourteen remarkable tracks.
Although "Destiny" is Ms. Furker's only appearrance on the disc, the vocals of Sophie Barker on the splendid "In the Waiting Line" and Mozez on "This World" easily pick up the slack. Even then, it's on the album's pure instrumentals that this group of Radiohead-remixers shines its brightest - most notably on the ultra-dank bonus track of "Salt Water Sound."
Naysayers may simply write Zero 7 off as nothing more than followers in the footprints of France's Air, but do not be led astray. Simple Things is an album worthy of its own praise, and we simply can't wait until we get to hear more from these British groovesters. 10-Jul-2002 8:24 PM