- Audio CD
- Number of Discs: 1
- ASIN: B0001HAHY6
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,624 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
When It Falls
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Beautifully crafted and produced, When It Falls is a fitting follow-up to Zero 7's 2001 platinum hit Simple Things. Reintroducing several of their debut's guest vocalists, the band continue to meld subtle orchestration, elegant jazz and easy-going West Coast soul and folk, creating a sound so tasteful it makes Morcheeba sound like Napalm Death. The album opens with the appropriately titled "Warm Sound," where long-time collaborator Mozez delivers his spacey soul over a quivering flute and funky keys. Later he reappears for the string-swept lullaby "Over Our Heads." Next up is newcomer Tina Dico who lends the softest of vocals to "Home," where quietly chiming guitars rise to a careful collision of brass, and "The Space Between," a techno-update of 70s folk-jazz. Much the same service is provided by Sophie Barker on "Passing By" and "In Time," which recalls the sweet innocence of early James Taylor. It's left to Sia Furler to add extra color, her slight rasp lending character to both "Somersault" and "Speed Dial No 2." Throughout, the band introduce a welter of instruments and effects, sometimes approaching the psychedelic, though they're keen to avoid an over-technological coldness--the squeak of finger on guitar string is never far away. For fans of Simple Things, it's a real treat. --Dominic Wills --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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The mellow montony of the well-named "Warm Sound" sets off the tone of the album, echoed in the vague "Over Our Heads," spacey title track, and mellowly uninviting "In Time." Unfortunately, these are the most likely to send listeners to sleep -- musically, they possess plenty of beauty and sweetness, and have a distinct polish. But they don't have anything that makes you sit up and take notice.
But the less ambient songs display a little more oomph. There are also forays into ambient folkiness in the low-key "Home", the acoustic and the harmonica-electronica of "Look Up." Some pure trip-hop even seeps in with the jazzy "Passing By," with its mellow singing and faint electronica swips and sweeps.
The primary flaw of "When It Falls" is that it neither rises nor falls -- it's more of a straight line with some gentle bumps and dips. It's more downbeat than their debut album, a little more pensive and laid-back. But one particular highlight is the vocals: Sia Furler and Sophie Barker's sensuous voices, as well as the deeper, soulful voice of Mozez.
Zero 7 does well in melding trip-hop and mellow ambience with jazz and folk. If you can wrap your mind around the idea of harmonica and electronica in the same song, it should be right for you. Guitar riffs aren't very impressive. But the string section is the most accomplished and polished, with violins darting in and out of the music against a faint percussion backdrop.
While often relegated to arty makeout music, Zero 7 is pleasant enough, even when not getting cuddly. It's just that in their sophomore album they get a little too mellow for their own good.
That's where ambient music could be saving me.
The jury is still out on Ambient, but I have made a deliberate attempt to move away from RnB, Rap, Rock, and most Alternative when I need to really use my brain. Ambient music is now canvassing the background in my home, my office (not ready to let into the car yet), and I'm loving it. It sounds like what you'd hear at a W Hotel in the bar, or at the Redwood Room in San Francisco. Just plain cool. You want to grab a Martini, sink into a deep red velvet couch, and just chill.
Of the dozen or so Ambient bands I researched and listened to, Zero 7 is my favorite by far. This new release is better than their first (Simple Things) in my objective "newbie" opinion. The track titled "Home" with vocals by Tina Dico is one of my favorite new songs, also, Sia Furler delivers one of the juiciest vocals on the album in "Somersault".
I've heard allot of comparisons with the group Air, allot of "who knocked who off" type stuff. I haven't checked them out yet, but after listening to this album, who cares? Zero 7 has crafted a work of art that will have you loving each song at first listen...
...and that's quite a feat. It usually takes at least a few listens to prime my interest.
Hope this helped...
Many a critic and fan have been anxiously awaiting the release of this album, the follow-up to Zero 7's globally admired "Simple Things." With the release of that album in 2001, Zero 7's Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker shared a wonderfully warm electronic soul vision with the world. Thankfully, the British duo did not feel the need to deviate from this winning sound on its sophomore set. Like its predecessor, "When It Falls" features the sublime vocal stylings of Sia Furler (news) ("Somersault"), Sophie Barker ("Passing By") and Mozez ("Warm Sound"). Danish newcomer Tina Dico makes her Zero 7 debut on two tracks: "The Space Between" and "Home." The latter sounds like a long-lost recording from "Ladies of the Canyon"-era Joni Mitchell (news). Rich, lush and romantic, "When It Falls" is aural nourishment for the soul.
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