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4.6 out of 5 stars154
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Quite simply the best album of the year, and one of the best debut albums ever to be released. Worth buying for the tracks Destiny and In the waiting line alone. The two female and one male guest vocalists truly shine, and use interesting lyrics accompanying simple sounding yet intricate arrangements. Musically this is a engrossing piece of work that rates alongside Massive Attacks' "Blue Lines". The Comparisons with Air are understandable, however Zero 7 are less obsessed with 70's cheesy keyboard sounds and have a Jazz edge which eludes the french duo. In Short, buy this or live an unfulfilled life.
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on 21 May 2003
I can honestly say that the debut album "Simple Things" from Zero 7 is without doubt the most treasured in my collection. It's smooth and ultra chilled, just right for those lazy summer days and sultry evenings.
Having heard a couple of their songs on various chillout compilations, I decided to order the album and I can say that it vastly exceeded my expectations of them. The album produces a variety of different styles from jazz to soul to trip-hop through the use of a wide range of instruments from guitars to flutes and pianos which combine beautifully to create sumptuous and laid-back melodies.
All of the tracks on the album have something different to offer the listener, but for me the standout tracks are the catchy bass lines and beautiful background melodies of "Polaris", the smooth flowing and dreamy guitar cords of "Give It Away", the excellent vocals and gentle moving rhythm of "In The Waiting Line" and the dark, broody nature of "Red Dust".
It's a very poignant and moving album and I'm not ashamed to say that it sometimes makes me feel quite emotional when listening to it, such is the excellence of the album. The superb vocals of Sia Furler and Sophie Barker further immerse you in Zero 7s unique brand of cool, sexy, downtempo music and leave a lasting impression on you and a tingle down your spine.
All in all, this is a brilliantly produced and well crafted debut album from a duo who don't necessarily get the attention that they deserve for creating such a musical masterpiece. If you liked Royksopp's "Melody AM" or Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" and are looking for an album that is refreshing and let's you relax at the end of a long day, then you can't go wrong with "Simple Things".
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on 14 January 2003
From The opening bass line of "I Have Seen" to the very last orchestral climax of the "End Theme", this cd has you griped. Great for end of party 'mellowing', or just chillin' in the car on a lazy hot day.
The beautifully sung "Destiny" and "In The Waiting Line", (Vocals:Sophie Barker), provide the highlights for me of the tracks with vocals. Whereas the sweet melodic sounds of "Red Dust" and the 'catchy' bass lines of "Polaris" and "Give It Away" provide 'in brain' entertainment for hours after turning the cd off.
A faultless album produced by Zero 7 themselves. Can life be any more relaxed than when listening to this 'chilled-out' masterpiece.
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on 18 May 2001
I saw this album on a listening stand in a record shop and thought what a cool cover. So curious about the cover I thought well why not take a listen. I am quite glad that I did. This album is so chilled but also so fresh; it has hints of jazz, house, and some world-beat music thrown in.
The opening tracks (1-4) are a great selection to open with and are definitely the foundations to the album(I probably haven't heard a better start to an album for quite a while now). Unfortunately these tracks probably include the two stand out tracks of the album Destiny(3) and Give It Away(4) which is very reminiscent of Air (the French band).
The album does start to meander after this but is still definitely worth a listen just to hear the beautiful In the Waiting Line(8) and the African inspired Likufanele(11).
This album could fit into anyone's life. It is perfect for the big chill out after a hard night on the town. But is equally at home if you just want to unwind with a bottle of vino on the couch after a hard day at work. The album cannot decide which you are but it certainly can respond to both scenario's.
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on 25 July 2001
I couldn't agree more. Stunning, innovative, awesome. Musically deep, mature, cool, soulful, Vocals by Sia Furler, Mozez and Sophie Barker fantastic, great instrumentals. Production is incredible, close to perfect.
Air comparisons are understandable from the musical perspective, but this misses the point and it is so much more. Air fans should enjoy it, it is the place Air should have gone to after Moon Safari. People would have understood it better than their recent effort.
Could it be the best Album ever?? I don't know, appreciation of music changes with mood, however if you are in the right mood, I doubt you would ever find anything better. Definitely a classic.
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on 26 February 2004
"Simple Things" is my favourite chillout cd, nothing compares when it comes to getting me to sleep or melting away my stress. The mood is beautifully serene and relaxing and I haven't met anyone so far who hasn't loved it. A definite for anyone who enjoys chillout music or enjoys relaxing to the max!
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on 25 December 2003
Zero 7 are producers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker of north London. Having forged their early careers working with a host of British artists including the Pet Shop Boys and New Order, they spent much of the 90's honing their production skills behind the scenes.
Following a great remix of Radiohead's 'Climbing the Walls', they then released this amazing debut album 'Simple Things' in mid-2001. I did not discover this until hearing the title track Simple Things on a mix album by Gilles Peterson, and it immediately caught my attention.
The production quality of this, a debut album, is simply astounding. The sound is a delicious blend of Air, Royksoop, Lemon Jelly and Bent - electronica with elements of everything from jazz, soul and funk to trip-hop and ambient techno.
I have been listening to the album for several months now and still its appeal has not waned - indeed several of the 'grower' tracks on the album (eg Give It Away and Out Of Town) have taken over from the single material such as I Have Seen, Destiny and In The Waiting Line.
The album starts with the tingling vocals of Mozez on I Have Seen, and blends the next hour into a cohesive set that rarely leaves the listener anything less than engrossed. Zero 7 also introduce a couple of other excellent vocalists in Sia Furler, and Sophie Barker (both of whom feature together in the excellent Destiny), and who match the mood and sound of the album perfectly.
A truly special album, Simple Things is a delicious blend of ambient electronica that I cannot recommend highly enough. One last piece of advice - pick up the version with 2 bonus tracks (the excellent Salt Water Sound and Spinning).
Oh and if you like this, you will be interested to know that Zero 7's second album is due in March 2004.
DGP
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on 17 November 2002
It would seem that in this case popularity breeds contempt - but in this case believe the hype. I have had this album for a while but keep coming back. In my opinion it is a masterpiece and everybody should have a copy.
Despite previous comments, a quick flick through the tracks reveals not even a hint of a filler. A couple of the non-vocal tracks start out by tricking you into thinking they are such but then suddenly go somewhere completely different.
I won't mention a certain album by a certain French duo in this review other than to say the similarities between them are the praise received by both and the subsequent success. Zero 7's album has a much less European (read soulful) sound to it that gives it a less light-hearted attitude. Some of the tracks have a humour to them, but it is of a much darker nature.
To write off Simple Things as dinner party music is to confine Zero 7 to the bin labelled "chill-out compilations" where Xpress-2 and Moby reside but this genre only does good tracks - this is a brilliant and complete album that was robbed in the Mercury music prize.
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on 24 February 2002
I heard destiny on radio 1 a few months an thought that this lot where good, So even with my poor amount of cash that i have, i ordered the album.
The songs are clever, balanced and well produced, the lyrics stiring, the beats mellow and alltough i wouldn't consider them to be copletely chillout all of the time, they do allow maximum relaxation and give you that tingally feeling whenever you hear it. These guys obiously love their music and they deserve recorgnition.
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on 10 June 2006
This is proving to be an all time classic, timeless CD. It is perfect to have on loop in the background as well as listening to on your earphones.

You won't be disappointed - there are so may good tracks that you won't need to skip any of them. Such a talented and unique group of people - each track is a delight to listen to and transport you to another world.

This CD sums up the phrase "chill out". Brilliant.
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