Here is a ‘best of’ which might be thought unnecessary at first glance, but which proves its worth almost immediately. For though Zero 7 might be thought to have written four nearly identical albums, it soon becomes clear there’s more variety to this band than first thought.
Consistency has been their watchword, but there are two peaks in their output – first album Simple Things, a scary nine years old, and the more recent third album The Garden, where they demonstrated they could handle more styles than just chill out.
And so it is that the collection proves they can do more than one trick. Futures is the opener, the warmth of Jose Gonzalez‘ voice casting a spell that songs like In The Waiting Line do much to keep cast.
Yet the Sia-fronted songs are very difficult to beat, the quirky rhythms of Throw It All Away and You’re My Flame captivating when put with their unusual melodies. Furler is probably the best vocalist they’ve had, but Sophie Barker runs her close with a smoother, more gentle approach.
As a bonus on the deluxe edition we get a strong selection of remixes, with Stereolab‘s take on Home, Dabrye‘s version of You’re My Flame and the Carl Craig-fired Futures all hitting the spot. It’s a shame to report, however, that arguably their best remix, Ben Watt‘s timeless deep house take on Home, is missing in action.
That said, this is an illuminating and captivating insight into the world of Zero 7. Far from being coffee table fodder, it provides a near perfect chill out soundtrack – easy to relax to, but always rewarding closer inspection, especially deep in the small hours.