Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Album Review :: Zero 7 :: Yeah Ghost

*Smiling from ear to ear as I listen to Zero 7's 4th Studio Album Yeah Ghost*
I've been a fan ever since I was introduced to them back in 06, yeah I was a little late, but nevertheless I caught on. Zero 7 is primarily Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, for added flavor however they feature a slew of beautiful voices. On this installment of their creativity we have Eska Mtungwazi, Martha Tilston and Rowdy Superstar to name a few. Yeah Ghost, which hits stores today is a different sound for the UK duo. Their last three albums weren't as upbeat as this production, they were more along the lines of ambient acid jazz.. With the exception of The Road [a sweet endearing ballad], all the tracks on YG are pretty upbeat & dance club worthy, I'm excited & intrigued. It's safe to say they have had experienced artistic growth, all while still staying true to themselves and their art form. With Yeah Ghost they will retain old fans and gain new ones, this is a hot one for 09.

As I hit the play button my ears were tuned to expect the downtempo mellow sounds like that of 2001's Simple Things and 2004's When It Falls. Instead I was hit with a multi tempo sound like that of their 2006 release, The Garden, from the 1st track, Count Me Out. If their new style wasn't apparent @ the 1st track, Mr.Mcgee would be it for me. Only the 2nd song on the 11 tracked album, it opens with a strong reverb followed by a 70's vintage soul type feel over horns, drums, and carefully placed claps & tambourines. At that point I knew I was in for a new Zero 7, throw all preconceived ears away and be re introduced.

Swing enters with the sounds of a xylophone with a quaint mellow voice leading you thru her quest of "trying to figure out how to get down". The voice on this track is one of those you are forced to listen to because it's subtle but captivating. The background vocals have the perfect measure of 'upbeatness' w/o being corny over the simplistic percussion the song had to offer. As it opened with the xylophone it also faded with it, maintaining the playful tone of the track.

Honestly I could discuss each track because they all are from a different genre. Sleeper and Everything Up would be the electro-pop tracks, very dance party worthy... electric guitar, warped sounds, and necessary keyboard magic for electronic perfection. Pop Art Blue is the folk alternative track, think Beatles meets Postal Service. I imagine they were travelling when they wrote this one, it sounds like it was inspired. Medicine Man, lol, get ready to polka in a 2009 pop kinda way. [I know that's an accordion I hear.] Ghost Symbol, aptly fitted with the ghastly sounding singer, this will be the fix for your broken beat needs. With a wicked electro tech riff, drum snares and echoes this is another potential clubbers dream. Solastalgia, an instrumental, makes me wish I paid attention in music class. The instrumentation that takes place here is nothing but 'soundscapey' melodic heaven. Closing out with a drumline's dream sequence; All of Us with its infectious percussion, seals the deal on the album being a well put together body of work.

The overall feel of the album is a music head's dream. Upbeat and filled with diversity, whether you have an established relationship with Zero 7's work or not, it will have you hooked. It is for that reason, along with it's replayAbility that Pink Bubblegum gives Yeah Ghost 5.5/7 Head Nods.
Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.


Blogger Junior Star said...

Will definitely be picking this one up!

October 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

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