It may be 14 years old, but the re-issue of Zero 7’s, “Simple Things” on vinyl is a welcome reminder of the brilliance of that blissful musical journey that the band introduced to the music scene. Forget that “Sex and the City” featured the track, “In the Waiting Line” at the end of “The Domino Effect” which had Carrie moving on from Big, or that the album was responsible for introducing Sia to the world, before she was Sia, “Simple Things” goes down as one of those 5 albums you’d take with you to a deserted island. Ethereal, electronic, yet simple at it’s core “Simple Things” made it’s mark on the musical landscape with a blissful optimism. Definitely a studio project, however, the album features beautiful arrangements that utilize strings, flutes, guitars, violins and trumpets, alongside some exquisite vocals from Mozez, Sophie Barker and Sia Furler as mentioned above.
“Simple Things” is about the music, tone and vibe that are apparent from the first track, “I Have Seen”. The 60’s groovy opener harkens to those freedom days of checking out, while signaling something more awaits. Mozez’ lucid vocals wrap around the mesmerizing groove that lures the listener in from it’s inception. His vocals are more hypnotic on the title track, “Simple Things”, but it’s the simple steady beat that keeps the lounge stylings alive, while avoiding a melancholic mood.
Sia floats effortlessly on both “Destiny” and “Distractions”, with the latter adding heartfelt and yearning vocals to the violin, bass and guitar accompaniment. It’s worth noting the instrumentals on “Simple Things”, “Out of Town” and “Red Dust”, as they add a depth and reflective nature to the project. The former adds a brilliant trumpet which would make Herb Albert smile. “Red Dust” is a trippy indulgent track which conjures up what it might be like on a solo mushroom trip.
Now on vinyl, and 180g weight, which the verdict is still out what benefits that make on the original recording, “Simple Things” does get a full and complete sound which could be similar to how it was created in the studio. This really is an album you want to cozy up to with someone special over a glass of wine, or simply space out to alone on a languid Summer day. However you consume this beautiful project it will ingest that much better on vinyl as you take the time to play all four sides of this record. Remember it’s the ‘Simple Things’ in life that are the most precious. The album is also available at iTunes.