Ultimate Dilemma – 2001 – 61 minutes
The press buildup on Zero 7 over the last 18 months has been the exact counterpart of their music: slow, smooth and with more than a nod to their brothers across the channel, Air.
The London duo of Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns were studio engineers who got their first break when Radiohead let them loose on a remix of 'Climbing The Walls' in 1997 and since then they've had their widescreen ways with the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Terry Callier and Lambchop. Now comes their chance to bring it all together on 'Simple Things', the perfect album to transform your living room to a lounge.
Kicking off with the time capsule soul of 'I Have Seen', it's all slinky beats, in-no-hurry-to-get-there basslines and string sweeps that suggest they've worn the grooves raw on quite a few soundtracks. The standout moments are split 50/50 between instrumental tracks and their collaborations with vocalists: 'Out of Town' a let's get lost symphony for your next away day and 'In The Waiting Line' a breathlessly sung lament to life by the hour.
'Simple Things' may laze around a little too much to be considered truly great, but it's got one of the biggest hearts you'll listen to all year.
Tracklisting: I Have Seen – Polaris – Destiny – Give It Away – Simple Things – Red Dust – Distractions – In the Waiting Line – Out of Town – This World – Likufanele – End Theme