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Simple Things

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 13 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00005R5M6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

2001 debut full length for dance act described as, 'the British Air', the follow-up to two limited, critically acclaimed EPs. Highlights include the awesome African influenced instrumental passage 'Likufanele', the velvety 'I Have Seen' feat. Mozez & the quiet storm of 'Destiny' feat. Sia.

Zero 7's ability to conjure beautiful lullabies with all the romance of 1960s French pop (as found on their debut LP, Simple Things) would have made them the toast of soundtrack composers and chill-out connoisseurs the world over. Unfortunately, two Frenchmen beat Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker to the title of "masters of comedown cool," leaving the London duo to be forever called "the British Air." And this is fair; the similarities between Zero 7's lush cinematic soundscapes and those of Air's Moon Safari and the Virgin Suicides score are so strong as to sound almost intentional. Nonetheless, their debut is a truly gorgeous album. It has all the tried and tested atmospheric tricks--bleeps and whooshes layered over plodding Fender Rhodes chords, swathes of strings and tender trumpet parps--but it's Binns and Hardaker's languid grooves and the soft melancholy of their melodies that make dream-state instrumentals "Give It Away" and "Polaris" utterly enchanting. The real power of Simple Things, however, is in its songs. As beautiful as the ambient strains are, when laid beneath the seductive vocals of Australian diva Sia on the ethereal "Destiny" or the heart-breaking "Distractions," their potency becomes apparent. --Dan Gennoe

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
...Except for the fact it is Simply Amazing! Its difficult to even describe the style of music at hand here - chill-out, lounge, trance, with traces of jazz, classical, and pop music throughout. Zero 7 takes you from porno music to polished, sultry and sinful to sweet and smooth within tracks and within the album. No matter what kind of music you listen to, "Simple Things" will surely relax your mind and your soul as you just take in all of the delicate yet complex songs arranged.
There are a number of styles explored on the album, which can be categorized in two large subdivisons - with vocals and with out. The vocal songs mainly feature male singer Mozez who stars on the albums opening disco-lounge track "I Have Seen", the absolutely amazingingly mysterious title track, and the sultry ballad "This World".
The two female vocalists are quite similar sounding, as noted on the stunningly addictive "Destiny" where they share lead vocals. The sound of Sia Furler and Sophia Barker's voices is accented softly with both a British sound, and almost a southern twang, but no worries their voices are like liquid on all the songs they sing. Furler returns on one of my fave tracks on the album "Distractions" a sweet love-ish ballad, while Barker is given the slightly weaker "In The Waiting Line" which shows the difference in the two girls voices as they are back to back, although Barker recuperates on the closing track "Spinning".
Within the non-vocal tracks the guys that make up our beloved band in question experiment with 1970's synthesized porno beats and keyboard sounds, mixed with smooth bass, acoustic guitars, and elegant strings, and of course that "air" sound that has led them to be labelled as "british air".
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Format: Audio CD
Zero 7 has a sound that to my ears, has strong elements of laid-back Seventies groups yet is completely rooted in today's smooth jazz genre. They combine seamless harmony and a relaxed tempo with guitar and synthesized instrumentals for a sound that is unique, but shows its origins with grace and humor. Not everyone is happy with the mix: the vocals have been compared to cloying "lite R&B" but this is a matter of taste, since folks over the decades have pretty much shown the music world that smooth vocals are what they want, and plenty of it. The vocals are hypnotic; either the fluid female duo sound of Sia Furler and Sophie Barker, or the male vocalist Mozez, whose husky ballads could get him nominated as the next Seal or even "let's get lovin'" Barry White replacement--not for his range but for the effect he has on the listener.
The prize here may be the spacey instrumentals, a clever blend of real drums and base mixed with electric keyboard and synthesizer. If you are a fan of smooth jazz such as Sade, you will probably enjoy this album. If you have't found anything you like in music since Kenny G, maybe this could find you a new groove. Sexy stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
This album was my introduction to chill out, and what a way to begin...
First things first, many bitter fans claim this album is nothing more than a derivative of Air's "Moon Safari". I say: so what? They're both great albums, but I prefer this one far more than Moon Safari.
Why? Sia Furler. Her vocals are spellbinding, exquisite, and intimate all at once - like a window into her soul. "Destiny" is a song that never leaves my mind no matter how much music I listen to, and "In the Waiting Line" just relaxes everything in my body in a way no other song can. The best part of the cd is that the other vocals are almost as good, especially the female collaboration on "Distractions". "I Have Seen" is to laid back as to what "This World" is to pensive - quintessential.
"Spinning" and "Simple Things" provide more quality vocals, and "Red Dust" and "Give It Away" offer complimenting instrumentals.
The only reason this album doesn't get 5 stars are all the instrumentals - the album has a jarring feeling like it keeps going to commercial, cutting away from the main action of dynamic lyrics and harmonic interplay. Most of them are very good, but I don't particularly care for one or two.
However, I highly recommend this album - when I was introduced to it, I turned around and shread it with friends, and it quickly blazed through that circle as well. This album is enchanting and mystifying, especially for late night summer drives with the windows down and nothing on your mind but the tunes.
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Format: Audio CD
But hey, who cares? This is a great CD!!! And is that really a bad thing to be compared to AIR? Of course, not. Art imitates life, and life imitates art, and all that philosophical crap. And who doesn't sound like somebody else in the business these days--except for maybe Amon Tobin who sounds like nobody else on this planet, but I digress. Zero 7 does something different, of course, by utilizing much stronger vocals on "Simple Things"--both from male and female, as well as deliver a more soulful/folksy/funky groove than any AIR CD I've heard. Zero 7 is a extraordinarily talented duo and it shows in every track on "Simple Things." I've had the CD since the beginning of the year (2003)...nothing unusual for me a late-bloomer...I usually buy a CD several years after its initial release. But regardless of when you buy an album, if it's a classic, it should sound as good as the day/year it was released--and Zero 7 has done an excellent job of creating a classic.
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