20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews Zero 7’s Yeah Ghost by Irina Dvalidze
Zero 7 Releases Yeah Ghost Sept 28thZero 7 Releases Yeah Ghost Sept 28th

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Zero 7’s “Medicine Man” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

It has been about three years since we have last heard from Zero 7. Finally, the Grammy nominated duoof Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker release their fourth album the Yeah Ghost. Notable for their Down-tempo, acid jazz sound, they’ve made a name for themselves as the masters of trippy, ambient music.

Their past work can be described as more on the mellow, slower side, but with this new album we see them doing something unexpected. The beats are faster, the tone is much more upbeat and even the vocals are livelier. Now, don’t be deceived, these guys don’t forget their basics.The sound is unmistakably the same old Zero 7 we remember. They maintain the signature multiple vocals approach, repetitive yet ranging backdrops and the layered soundscapes.

The album is a definite evolution, maybe not always for the best, but Binns and Hardaker are still pushing their musical boundaries. After hearing this release, you might be left with a feeling that there is something missing compared to their previous works. Whether it is a drawback or an accomplishment is not entirely clear. The album definitely hits all the right notes with tracks “Mr.Mcgee,” “Swing,” “Medicine man” and the very ghostly “All of us. ” However, there is a clear change to the drab, willowy “Pop Art Blue” that sounds like you just went for a wacked-out walk with Enya while she was pondering better days.

The band’s attempt to move up to more dance, jazzy beats is a valiant effort. It is a welcome change, for an act whose only accomplishment used to be successfully putting you into a pleasant lull. It is a progressive move forward, but naturally as with all experimental work it has its flaws. We dare not say it disappoints. It rather surprises, but Yeah Ghost is just not quite the grand achievement we were expecting either.

Let’s just call this a good trial run and hope these ambient geniuses learn from their mistakes.

— Irina Dvalidze

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