- Audio CD (Nov. 13 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B00005R5M6
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 159 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,197 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately people tend to overclassify everything, and anything that defies a catagory ends up unpopular and with a stupid name (ie trip-hop). I fear this may result in another example of how quality is inversely proportionate to its popularity.
After many years of waiting through the album has finally seen a modern re-issue, on 180 gram vinyl, and I have to say it is utterly spectacular. This is hands down one of the best sounding records I've bought in quite some time. No pops, no clicks, no surface noise. The vinyl plays so cleanly you'd think it was on CD. I find a lot of modern re-issues tend to be flawed. There's been plenty of discs I've bought that are noisy the first time I drop the needle on the record. Not so here. It sounds glorious.
If you are a fan of the album this is a must purchase. Your sound system will thank you.
Now, the music. It's an addictive formula these guys have. These are the type of songs that you forget you are listening to because they are so conducive to daydreaming or thought. Yet just then you snap out of it and realize - this is some good Sh*!. Sort of like some other (illegal) stuff I know.
Honestly, these dudes did something really right by avoiding the tired, vapid, meaningless lyrics common to most of this type of music (like Air for example) and using real vocalists singing real songs with real lyrics.
Personally, I find this CD MUCH more mature and accessible than Moon Safari. This is what I expected when I bought Air all those years ago.
The female vocals are excellent, and there are hints of Portishead and Sade.
This is a Stoner/Chillout CD that you don't have to be stoned to love.
This CD is absolutely beautful with vocals that are both angelic and haunting. It's a CD I play every night when I want to relax...perfect for candlelight and an hour of just chilling out.
My only complaint is that on some of the purely instrumental pieces, for example "Polaris" the group gets a little overly into wacky, spaced out sound effects which, frankly, almost make me laugh. If you've ever seen the epidode of "Friends" where Ross shares his musical compositions (helecopter and laser sounds with a bass line) this will remind you of that. But, to take a chance nearly sight unseen on a CD like "Simple Things" and love 90% of it isn't bad at all. And it gets played by me almost daily. I highly recommend it.