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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Zero 7 - Simple Things

  1. #1
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Zero 7 - Simple Things

    And now for something a little different, this fits under the "downtempo" indie pop category, and is similar to Air's Moon Safari (if you all are familiar) and some Massive Attack. The tracks are laid back, but also quite enchanting, melodious and memorable. It's become one of my favorite of this style. Check it out:



    Review by Sputnik Music:
    Review Summary: Zero 7 challenge AIR’s Moon Safari for the chillout album of the millennia with an elegant and enchanting debut.

    Moon Safari was massive. With tracks like “All I Need” and “Ce Matin La”, it set the benchmark for chilled electronica at a ridiculously high level. It still is your ultimate chill out fantasy. Times infinity. No other chillout CD has ever quite matched it, but Zero 7’s Simple Things isn’t far off. This album is more gorgeous than any girl/guy you can ever think of. Yes, it sounds as though it’s giving more than a nod to that beautiful 90s French album; you could even think of Simple Things as an up-to-date Moon Safari, or even, the
    British version. But don’t let that take anything away from it.

    “Time goes so slow, days come and go”

    The beats, the bass, the lush strings arrangements, the acoustic guitars; everything here is blissfully effortless. The influences (other than AIR) are clear; trip-hop beats and jazz scales are masterfully scattered across the twelve tracks, as are several instrumentals, and those are where the duo really shine. “Red Dust” and “Give It Away” have enough grooves to prompt a romantic slow dance, but could induce feelings of sleepiness half way through; there’d better be some cushions on the dance-floor. The divine orchestral arrangements and guitar chord progressions of “Red Dust” are typical of every track on this album, but work particularly well here with the song’s main flute melody. It’s a joy to listen to, as are the other instrumentals, “Polaris” and “Lifukanele”s African influenced melodies.

    “When I’m weak, I draw strength from you; and when you’re lost, I know how to change your mood. And when I’m down, you breathe life over me; even though we’re miles apart, we are each other’s destiny.”

    Sia Quango’s contribution to the album is invaluable. Her voice perfectly fits the slow love songs “Destiny” and “Distractions”, and turns the dreamy “In the Waiting Line” into an enchantingly seductive number. And “This World” is an absolute gem. Lyrically these songs are probably better than songs on Moon Safari; look no further than Destiny”. But for smooth DX solos, check out the title track. Ethereal, smooth, sensual, call it what you will, it’s the album’s best track, with a super-cool jazz drenched finale solo and heavenly singing.

    There are a few reviews knocking around claiming that Simple Things is nothing more than a cheap Moon Safari rip-off, a shameful attempt to beat the unbeatable. Don’t let them fool you. Simply put, this is a gorgeous album that should be in anyone’s music collection, regardless of taste; your ultimate chill out fantasy (after Moon Safari). - Dayvan Cowboy





    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  2. #2
    Member zravkapt's Avatar
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    I have heard some of their stuff, some I liked some I didn't. I remember really liking a song called "Throwing It All Away"
    The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off

  3. #3
    HUGE fan of Zero 7. Funny seeing them on this page though! I guess they're broken up now. 4 solid albums and they even put out a "best of".

  4. #4
    A stunningly beautiful album and one of my favorite for listening to soon after waking in the morning.

    Also highly recommended and it's not really too out of place here.

    There's much on it for a prog head to enjoy.

  5. #5
    Remember Canvas's Avatar
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    This band really took me by surprise a few years ago. A friend of mine gave me "When It Falls" and told me I would like it. It really blew me away and I had one of those musical freakouts where I couldn't listen to anything else but them for awhile. The song writing is amazing, their use of multiple vocalists is fantastic and the use of vintage synth sounds is one of the reasons I like these guys so much. They definitely have a proggy vibe but chill out or lounge core or melodic stoner would be pretty good classifications. The first three albums are must haves...."Simple Things" from 2001, the amazing "When It Falls" from 2004 and "The Garden" from 2006 are all great from start to finish. The fourth I haven't heard yet ("Ghost Yeah" from 2009) so I can't speak to that one. Yeah, Zero 7 are wonderful.....
    www.canvasproductions.net

  6. #6
    Member Boceephus's Avatar
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    I really love the vibe of this style of music. I prefer instrumentals of this sort.
    Can I get some advice on Songs/Tunes of this styles?


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  7. #7
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    in the clips above they wear their Lonnie Liston Smith influence (with a millennial twist) on their sleeve but that's a good thing
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  8. #8
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boceephus View Post
    I really love the vibe of this style of music. I prefer instrumentals of this sort.
    Can I get some advice on Songs/Tunes of this styles?
    try Lonnie Liston Smith's albums Astral Travelling, Cosmic Funk and Expansions
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  9. #9
    Other bands you will probably like if you like Zero 7? Goldfrapp, Mono (Life in Mono-not the "other" Mono), Portishead, Air, and dare I say 3RDegree side project p0rta1 https://3rdegree.bandcamp.com/album/p0rta1

  10. #10
    Remember Canvas's Avatar
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    Another album in this vein is by Weekend Players called "Pursuit Of Happiness" from 2003....
    www.canvasproductions.net

  11. #11
    Not quite the same territory but close, darker with more of a Pink Floyd vibe injected throughout:

    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Canvas View Post
    Another album in this vein is by Weekend Players called "Pursuit Of Happiness" from 2003....
    So funny you mention them...I was just thinking of another, random chill album that might be relevant and thought of Caia, which apparently has connections with Weekend Players:

    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

  13. #13
    Member FredOCal's Avatar
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    This sounds really nice and Air is one of my go-to bands. How do their other albums rank?

  14. #14
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I thought this album looked familiar, and then realized I actually own it. Played it once I think. Don't remember too much, perhaps later tonight would be a good time to give it another spin.

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    I got this and When It Falls back when I first heard Air and wanted more stuff like that.

    I really enjoy this album...it has a very relaxed vibe, perfect for either background music or for losing yourself in equally...but it DOES sound a LOT like early Air!

  16. #16
    Member Boceephus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reqs. I will follow up. Funny, I had a few of the suggested musics on my iTunes already! Great minds...


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  17. #17
    Oh man, I absolutely adore Zero-7. So glad to see them on here as a featured album!

    Their chord changes float and twist with such chewy goodness. Hard to decide on a favorite track, but definitely tied for first place (in my personal ranking) is "Destiny":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INn1C6ImJKg

  18. #18
    2 more suggestions if you like Zero 7. I LOVE the debut albums by the 2 women below. Their subsequent albums have not been anywhere near as good:

    She's Canadian

    She's from Iceland and the album was produced by EG and Roland Orzabal of Tears For Fears

  19. #19
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boceephus View Post
    I really love the vibe of this style of music. I prefer instrumentals of this sort.
    Can I get some advice on Songs/Tunes of this styles?
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  20. #20
    Member Boceephus's Avatar
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    Wow! Lonnie Liston Smith...hits the sweet spot.


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  21. #21
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boceephus View Post
    Wow! Lonnie Liston Smith...hits the sweet spot.
    glad ya like his music... I was late to learn of his particular musical genius myself. I didn't hear him until the 80s



    here's another great piece:


    Last edited by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER; 05-18-2017 at 11:12 PM.
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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