Record summarizes the first four albums from U.K. chillout mainstays Zero 7: Simple Things (2001), When It Falls (2004), The Garden (2006), and Yeah Ghost (2009). Released less than a year after the fourth album, some of its selections are debatable, but those dismayed with the absence of “Likufanele” or “Medicine Man” likely have the parent albums anyway.
There isn't more than a maximum of three standout tracks on every Zero 7 album. For the British duo's retrospective compilation of electronic soul, the unimaginatively titled Record, this provides just the right amount of material to create an excellent greatest hits collection to mark the duo's 10-year anniversary. Examining Record shows an inordinate number of selections taken from Zero 7's debut, 2001's Simple Things, followed by its third album, 2006's The Garden.
Zero 7 have never been a band known for smash hits and major singles. Their albums tend to be cohesive, downtempo electronic affairs. Primary composers, Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker achieved commercial and critical success with their 2001 debut, the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Simple Things. Yet, as time has passed, from that release till last year’s, Yeah Ghost, Zero 7 have seen a waning of both personal (e.g.
Zero 7’s wispy emissions reveal charm and interest value; even the occasional surprise. Chris Roberts 2010 Sleepy, reassuring, perfect for “tasteful” middle-class dinner parties attended by bored couples with any rough-edge individuality long since quashed – Zero 7 can absorb a lot of perfectly fair, pertinent slights and still somehow sound impressive. Perhaps it’s because there’s so little going on at the surface here that the avid music fan is forced to scrutinise, to prod the soporific veneer and see if there any crawly wriggly things underneath.