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Heroes to Zeros Import

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 34.40
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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Regal
  • ASIN: B0001LYGXU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
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1. Assessment
2. Space
3. Lion Thief
4. Easy
5. Wonderful
6. Troubles
7. Out-Side
8. Space Beatle
9. Rhododendron
10. Liquid Bird
11. Simple
12. Pure For

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Beta Band seems to attract a lot of mixed reviews. I first discovered them with the song Squares on the Six Feet Under soundtrack and have since purchased The Three EPs, Hot Shots II, and this new album. While The Three EPs seems to receive the most praise, I would have to say that I personally enjoy Heroes to Zeros the most. The Three EPs was a very spontaneous and experimental record; some of the songs, like Dry the Rain, She's the One, and Dr. Baker, struck me immediately, while others were interesting but ultimately left me cold. Hot Shots II was a much more relaxed album with a heavily electronic sound. Squares was easily the best song off the record, which was ultimately marred by the fact that too many of the songs had a similar beat and feel to them. Heroes to Zeros seems to represent a compromise between these two poles. While more coherent and focused than The Three EPs, it is also much more energetic and varied than Hot Shots II. The result is what may be The Beta Band's most mature disc. From the controlled chaos of Out-Side and Liquid Bird to lilting ballads like Wonderful and Pure For, there's so much going on sonically in Heroes to Zeros that it rewards close and frequent listenings. Anyone remotely interested in this sort of spaced-out, trippy music should definitely check this out.
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Format: Audio CD
Heroes to Zeroes is mediocre--with a caveat. For most bands it would be a fine accomplishment. It's just that we have such high expectations for the guys who gave us The 3 EPs and the self-titled The Beta Band that we expect brilliant, amazing, mind-blowing . . . and this album is none of those things.
What it is is a handful of catchy pop tunes and a bunch of inoffensive filler. Much of the album is "pretty," even delicate, with memorable-enough melodies and carefully arranged vocal harmonies on songs such as Assessment, Wonderful and Simple--tracks that sound like the Beatles colliding with the Stone Roses (and I can hardly pay a higher compliment). You can also hear a lot of Radiohead in H to Z--another laudable influence. Unfortunately, the album doesn't sound like The Beta Band. Put another way--this is a highly derivative record.
And that's an odd career move considering The Beta Band already had a cool sound of its own. Missing from H to Z is the weird energy of the band's earlier work--the highly textured sampling, the complexity of instrumentation, the humor, the arrogance--in other words, the originality. There's nothing here to equal the deceptively simple, trance-like beauty of Inner Meet Me or the sloppy genius of Round the Bend and It's Not Too Beautiful. The band just doesn't seem to be taking any chances or want to risk making a fool out of itself, and it shows. Even H to Z's one- and two-word song titles suggest a newfound conservatism, a self-editing move that speaks volumes.
Call it maturity (or God forbid, sobriety) if you like, I'd prefer to think of it as a detour. Hopefully they'll get sick of this safe, almost radio-friendly stuff, this Beta Band-lite, and return to form next time.
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Format: Audio CD
I love it when a group I'm a fan of finally busts out and delivers a record that perfectly synthesizes everything I've liked about their music. This is the Beta Band doing just that. Their earlier records were great but sometimes seemed crammed with too many melodies, too many ideas. On "Zeros" the sound is more organized but no less satisfying -- somehow they combine the instrumental drift of space-rock AND pscyhedellic-tinged garage rock within a compact 3-5 minute track. Plus, it's got buttery vocals that would do Eric Woolfsen from the Alan Parsons Project proud.
"Wonderful" sounds downright "Meddle"-esque, a nice nod to "San Tropez" and "Seamus." "Out-Side" is the ultimate pounding, driving-home-from-work-on-a-Friday-afternoon tune. "Space Beatle" is the sound of a crush in the best and worst sense of the word. I'm not sure what "Rhododendron" is but I love it. And I never would've thought a power-ballad called "Liquid Bird" would be something I could take seriously; but I can.
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Format: Audio CD
Frist things first: Stop expecting the Beta Band to put out another 3 EPs (the album that's not really an album but is still one of the best albums ever)!! It's not fair!! (I'm no nihilist, so I'm entitled to this opinion.)
Anyways ... I'm liking this album a lot. It has a more upbeat vibe than Hot Shots II and a more textured sound to my untrained ear (perhaps this is the dreaded "production" the indie music gods frown upon? Well then, whatever). Some highlights for me: "Space" will stick in your head and even affect your speech patterns, more or less. "Troubles" has a classic elliptical Beta Band melody that will lift you up, spin you around, and set you down gently again. "Wonderful" and "Pure For" are ideal gooey, mushy songs for me and my gooey, mushy girl to get gooey and mushy together to. A little more sincerely ... "Pure For" is one of the best album closers I've heard in a long time, with it's slow atmospheric build, driving base and beat, and catchy refrain. This album will be a staple on my summer road trips, hope you have the chance to enjoy it too.
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