For me, there is a clear difference between Yeah Ghost, and Zero 7's previous three albums.
The reason I love Zero 7 is that all the music on their first three albums is, whether sublimely chilled or more upbeat, soulful, exotic, warm, summery, relaxing, enchanting, emotional, and lavished with layers of soaking wet electronica goodness for the ears. I was a bit torn over The Garden at first, but when I gave it a chance, I found the upbeat stuff to work, because it still had those lovely warm qualities that make Zero 7 my go-to band for a summer soundtrack.
You can tell where I'm going with this can't you? The album cover says it all.
Yeah Ghost is comparatively cold, haunting, unsettling, dry and startling. There are some catchy tracks such as Mr. McGee and Everything Up (Zizou), and there is also Swing and Pop Art Blue which are a little cheerier and warm the album up slightly, but in general, Yeah Ghost strips Zero 7 of everything I love about them and leaves behind what sounds like a very self-indulgent album of experimental sound engineering that doesn't really flow as an album or leave me wanting more of the same.
I'm not saying Zero 7 should go back to their roots. I liked The Garden. They can do upbeat, they can do soul, they can do jazz, they can probably do rock, they can tell stories, they can have fun. I hope their next album continues to explore other ideas. All I ask is that they get back their signitaure warmth, because it's that that keeps me coming back one summer after another.