Ms. Mix & Bitch’s Gotta Get Track: Swing
If you’re one of the millions who fell madly in love with Zero 7’s down tempo sound on When It Falls and Simple Things, then you’re not going to be happy with their latest release, Yeah Ghost. However, if you’re open to a more soulful – may I even dare say, funk-inspired Zero 7 – then you’re going to love this record. I have a feeling, however, that many of their urban–lounge-hanging fans are going to sigh deep and long for the Zero 7 girl they fell in love with – not the one all glammed up and arriving at their door today.
What has stayed the same is the songwriting team of Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, who still expertly craft each song without falling into the familiar traps of overproduction like so many others of their genre tend to do. Also a continuing staple is the duo outsourcing vocals (bringing to light such talents in the past as Sia, José Gonzalez, and Tina Dico): this time, you’ll hear the likes of Martha Tilston on tracks Pop Art Blue and Swing, and Eska Mtungwazi on Medicine Man, Sleeper, Mr. McGee, and The Road. Each vocalist offers their own spin and interpretation to Binns and Hardaker’s hardware, and add some delicious texture and depth to the album, maybe even more so than past vocalists (and that’s saying something because I loved those guys and gals). Binns also performs on Everything Up (Zizou), and while not astounding, somehow still adds to the richness of their direction.
Overall, a new direction for the electronica superstars – one which may not be fully embraced by their fan base, but one which may bring new minions on board nonetheless.