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Simple Things

291 customer reviews

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Simple Things
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Audio CD, November 13, 2001
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$29.88 + $3.99 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by rockitman.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. I Have Seen 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Polaris 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Destiny 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Give It Away 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Simple Things 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Red Dust 5:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Distractions 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. In the Waiting Line 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Out of Town 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. This World 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Likufanele 6:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. End Theme 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Salt Water Sound 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Spinning 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quango / Palm
  • ASIN: B00005R5M6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,361 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Luke Owen on February 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Simple Things is quite simply one of the best debuts I've ever heard. The vocals are soft yet purposeful, and the lyrics are often quite inspired. Sia's beautiful voice is ethereal on the simply beautiful "Distractions" & "Destiny". It brought her fantastic Healing Is Difficult out of the doldrums of my CD collection.
It's easy to see where Zero 7 has taken much of their inspiration. There are definite similarities to Air (although it remains easy to tell the two apart) as well as Groove Armada and Fatboy Slim. Don't let the Fatboy Slim confuse you - this is by no means a dance album. This is almost an anti-dance album - the kind of thing you put on when you're very tired / drunk / stressed / angry (delete as appropriate).
It would be impossible to pick out any personal favorites (I love every track), but the real stand out tracks are "In The Waiting Line", "Destiny", "Distractions" and the largely underrated "End Theme".
If you're in a party mood, by all means, don't put this CD on. It will definitely not help build the atmosphere, but makes a perfect comedown disc. It's difficult, however, not to try and vigorously enforce this great new band on all your friends. I can't wait for the next chapter of the story.
Easily addictive, this is my first must-have of 2002. Can't say fairer than that, really...
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Zuurbier on February 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album to put on when you just need to unwind and relax. That being said, it is not just a chill out album. Listen closely to the lyrics, and the excellent vocals, the way everything molds together, it's definately one of the more unique albums I have heard lately. 14 tracks in total, 2 of which are bonus tracks, it runs just over 70 minutes, of pure musical bliss. Of course comparisons will be drawn to Air, but don't let that stop you from giving Zero 7's debut SIMPLE THINGS a try, comparisons can be drawn between this and Air's MOON SAFARI, but this has its own unique flair and flavor, they have found their own style. Sia provides seductive and passionate vocals on "Destiny" and "Distractions", two of the best tracks on the set. I also quite enjoy "Red Dust", "End Theme", "Polaris" and "In The Waiting Line". Every track is enjoyable, definately an underrated album. Everyone should take a listen to this.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Thomas on November 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
An immediate entry into my Top 10 of 2001. It didn't seem that way at first -- the opener, "I Have Seen," sounds like an outtake from Cousteau. But the songs build upon each other in perfect logical order, leading up to a powerful climax.
What would happen if your favorite electronica station collided with a smooth-jazz station and careened into a sultry piano lounge on the corner? "Simple Things" might well be the result, but that's hardly doing it justice.
By the time track 11 arrives, the stage has been set. "Likufanele," a remix of South African gospel music, moves the soul in a truly captivating manner. For whatever reason, the song just reached out and grabbed me, even while driving at 60mph, almost to the point of bringing tears to my eyes. Back home with the headphones on, it was even more powerful. An absolute masterpiece.
The proper closer (not counting the two "bonus tracks"), "End Theme," is an appropriate denouement to the climax of "Likufanele," bringing me back to earth after a truly astral journey.
Advice: Don't try to listen to individual songs. Play the whole thing in sequence, and let it take you wherever it wants to take you. A magical record.
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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Maine Writer VINE VOICE on August 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simple Things is exactly that. You won't find instrumental virtuousity here. As a musician friend of mine commented after hearing it, there is a lot of very simple "noodling" going on. So, if you're looking for complex jazz or performances for the ages, don't look here. What you will find, however, are interesting aural subtleties, well-crafted pop songs, and some nice vocals. It's better than background music, but not quite the kind of album that holds up terribly well beyond the very simple pleasures it provides. Sometimes, you need just that. Plus, there is an honesty to the lyrics that is refreshing. I find myself going back to this album time and time again, and that may be the biggest reason for the four star rating.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on November 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Zero 7 have been called the British Air, and for once the comparison isn't unhelpfully lazy. Like the French geniuses, 7 create cloud-spacious keyboard soundscapes, full of epic, melancholy melodies, reclaiming the despised, functional music of the 70s - muzak, piped/elevator music, BBC Stereophonic workshop etc. - and asserting its emotional value. While this was surprising and revelatory in the mid- to late-90s, it's familiar enough now; thankfully, 7 have enough of their own moody, bittersweet personality to keep you interested.
Other major echoes include the more experimental Burt Bacherach of 'Reach Out', especially in the use of such creamy instruments as the trumpet, the xylophone and God's own, the theremin; Portishead, in the late-night, trip-hop despair of songs like 'Destiny' or 'In the Waiting line'. The overall air of blissed pastoral stretches as far as English folk music on occasion.
Sometimes, like a spoilt, ungrateful child, I have qualms - that this is too 'coffee-table' perfect; tht the singers sound like session musicians; that 'Likufanele' is a bit too WOMAD for my tastes; but the textured, instrumental beauty, even on the vocal tracks, smothers any doubts. Reminds me, for some reason, of a brighter summer day in the 1970s.
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