Chillout multi-instrumentalists or quirky urban jazz musicians, Zero 7 have spent a good fifteen years or so drifting between the great and the dull. Fortunately, when they’re good, they’re extraordinarily good.
You will no doubt remember Destiny (2001), and possibly even some of their other hits, but if you’ve not come across them elsewhere then you’ll know them for their brilliant debut Simple Things.
Where to start
Most of the key hits can be found on their 2010 best of compilation Record, which optionally comes with a bonus disc (more below).
What to buy
Next step is to jump right back to 2001 for Simple Things – this is about as good as they get. After that you could dip in for just odd moments. The Garden (2006) has some good moments, and Yeah Ghost (2009) is probably the better of the other two.
Don’t bother with
Any of the singles, as a rule. When it Falls (2004) is the least interesting of their albums, although it does have a few highlights. Don’t bother with the bonus disc of Record, which just is largely just a collection of pointless remixes.
Despite the rules of thumb above, Warm Sound is one of their best songs, and is only available on When it Falls, and a couple of the remixes hidden on the second disc of Record are actually pretty good, particularly the versions of Futures and Ghost Symbol.
- Free mp3 of the week – Zero 7 for Colour of Spring (October 2012)
- Zero 7 – When it Falls (February 2014)