7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Now for something slightly different...,
This review is from: The Garden (Audio CD)One thing to bear in mind before buying this album; this is not Zero 7 as you know, and most probably love them. Gone are the lush pads, strings, breezy atmospherics, and laid back flow. It's still unmistakably Zero 7, but somehow... Different. The first time I listened to it, I was immediately searching for the next Destiny, Somersault or Waiting Line. It was with no small amount of disappointment that I realised there wasn't one. The tempo has changed, the mood has changed, but it's still unmistakably Zero 7, yet... Not.
Wait, where are you going? It may be different, and it may not be exactly what I was expecting, but I am a huge fan of their last two albums and I'll be damned if I was going to let my initial reaction get the better of me. So I set it back to track one, and listened again.
It started to grow on me. The more I listened, the more trademark Zero 7 sounds and melodies filtered through. Different, and yet underneath, still the same. Sia's voice as hauntingly beautiful as ever, though applied differently this time around. Jose Gonzales' inclusion on the album is a masterstroke. To say their music has matured would suggest a refinement of their sound, which would be inaccurate. With the inclusion of more organic, choral and acoustic aspects, and the exclusion of some of their more familiar traits, this is Zero 7 going in a slightly different direction.
If you are a fan, as I am (at this point I can resist no longer... Mr `I hate chill out' below, if you dislike the genre so much, why would you A: buy the album B: write a review about the album or C: spend most of that `review' spouting pretentious views on who would likely listen to it? I happen to listen to and enjoy all genres, from down tempo, ambient work, through breaks, hip hop, jazz, broken beat, to my personal musical love, drum n' bass... Hardly a candidate for `sitting round a coffee table talking about inane subjects', as you put it. Get over yourself. Sorry, moving on) then give the album a go. You may be surprised at first, but give it the time it needs and it will reward you. For newcomers to Zero 7, I would suggest getting your hands on Simple Things or When It Falls first. If you like what you hear, come back and sample the group on a slightly different trip.
Is it a classic? I wouldn't like to say. What it is, is a group not content to sit on their laurels, prepared to push the boundaries of their sound, seeking to expand their horizons and forge a deeper furrow for themselves in an increasingly crowded genre. And for that, I salute them.