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Zero 7 expands beyond downtempo origins

June 13, 2006|by HIRA ZEBB

Zero 7 is a downtempo duo made up of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker from the United Kingdom. Zero 7's past albums seemed to hold no surprises - they basically held the same mood throughout the album.

They just released their third album, called "The Garden." The CD features 12 new tracks, featuring vocals by Swedish star Jos Gonzlez and Sia Furler as well.

On this album, the world sees Zero 7 taking a more upbeat musical direction, yet at the same time, maintaining their originally mellow and chill sound.

The newest album has a more multitempo pace than their previous albums. "Futures" is a great track where Gonzlez effortlessly introduces himself with his smooth voice. "Throw It All Away" is a top-notch single with amazingly catchy lyrics that really stand out and grab your attention. If you like different kinds of music, "Your Place" is a great mix of genres, combining electronica, jazz, lounge and indie rock.

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"The Garden" takes you on a roller coaster ride as the band experiments with different sounds and ranges. For example, the simple and poppy "You're My Flame" contrasts sharply with "Left Behind," the melancholy acoustic song which follows. They throw in twists and turns to keep the listener interested, such as ending the track "The Pageant of the Bizarre" with acapella gospel music.

This album definitely turned out to be a summer record. The sound compliments the nature of vacation and relaxation of summer.

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