Between the original release of Odessey & Oracle and last year's full-fledged reunion of the surviving Zombies members to reproduce it on stage, there have been two studio albums released under the band's name. 2004's As Far As I Can See, which reunites Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent, and (sporadically) Chris White, is your best bet for something vaguely Zombies-esque in sound, but this 1990 album is certainly of note to hardcore fans. While the production sounds sterile and dated, it has flashes of the warm familiar that will reward repeat listenings, no mean feat considering it was recorded in order to re-establish the legal rights to the band name.
The band's original guitarist and keyboardist were substituted for this album with Sebastain Santa Maria (due to practical, rather than acrimonious reasons), who also contributes four songs, though only "I Can't Be Wrong" really sticks in the head, and "Moonday Morning Dance" is a creaky 80's refugee if ever I heard one. Chris White adds the decent "Lula Lula" and "Heaven's Gate", and the cover of Paddy McAloon's "When Love Breaks Down" comes off fairly well. Colin really steps up, writing or co-writing almost the whole back-half of the record, "Losing You" being the highlight. The best song is one of the least Zombie-like, the anthemic opening title track co-written by Chris White and his nephew. It's wonderfully catchy and optimistic, and features some guitar work courtesy of original Zombie Paul Atkinson, who was otherwise unavailable due to his work as an Artists & Repertoire man.
The main ingredient missing here is obviously the singing, songwriting, and immaculate keyboard skills of Mr. Rod Argent, who appears only to recreate his distinctive soloing on a remake of Time of the Season. Pointless, but pleasant nostalgia on an album that doesn't otherwise re-invent the wheel anyway.
Thankfully, Rod's presence is beefed up (and the rating boosted a whole star) by the inclusion of two 1978 bonus tracks recorded by Chris White with Colin and Rod on harmonies. One of these is an early, haunting demo of Lula Lula (then titled "Hold My Hand") while the other is the pretty, elegic "When My Boat Comes In," which has a gorgeous middle-eight. While these tracks add a lot of value to the album, there was room for additional material, particularly the stripped-down Time of the Season that is mentioned in the liner notes and was included on the German version of the album. Including the live recordings (if they exist) of "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season" from the group's one-off 1997 reunion at a Colin Blunstone show would also have made this a more comprehensive document of the group's post-1968 activities. As it is, a worthwhile chronology-filler for hardcore Zombies fans, passable for everyone else.