The musical careers of former studio engineers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker were given a boost by old college chum and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich when he let them remix OK COMPUTER's "Climbing Up the Walls." The resulting product led to greater things, including a full-length album, 2001's SIMPLE THINGS, which revealed the duo's fondness for atmospheric soul-jazz, languid film score-influenced compositions, and urbane electronica.
2004 release for UK down-tempo/soul outfit features 11 tracks including the first single ''Home''. Elektra/WEA.
Beautifully crafted and produced, When It Falls is a fitting follow-up to Zero 7''s 2001 platinum hit Simple Things. Reintroducing several of their debut''s guest vocalists, the band continue to meld subtle orchestration, elegant jazz and easy-going West Coast soul and folk, creating a sound so tasteful it makes Morcheeba sound like Napalm Death. The album opens with the appropriately titled "Warm Sound," where long-time collaborator Mozez delivers his spacey soul over a quivering flute and funky keys. Later he reappears for the string-swept lullaby "Over Our Heads." Next up is newcomer Tina Dico who lends the softest of vocals to "Home," where quietly chiming guitars rise to a careful collision of brass, and "The Space Between," a techno-update of 70s folk-jazz. Much the same service is provided by Sophie Barker on "Passing By" and "In Time," which recalls the sweet innocence of early James Taylor. It''s left to Sia Furler to add extra color, her slight rasp lending character to both "Somersault" and "Speed Dial No 2." Throughout, the band introduce a welter of instruments and effects, sometimes approaching the psychedelic, though they''re keen to avoid an over-technological coldness--the squeak of finger on guitar string is never far away. For fans of Simple Things, it''s a real treat. --Dominic Wills
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