Release Date: Jun 6, 2006
Record label: Atlantic
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.
Zero 7's last album, 2004's overly slick When It Falls, did nothing to help them shake their chillout label. It also sounded like a sequel to Simple Things, their 2001 debut. Time for a rethink. The Garden was recorded in the Somerset countryside, and Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns seem to have harnessed the sunshine for this playful, warm and inspired set.