Zero 7 are rather boring and forgettable on Yeah Ghost


I’ll be blunt: Zero 7‘s Yeah Ghost isn’t too good. Sure, the group has that whole “downtempo” labeling, but shouldn’t that be a description rather than an excuse? As a whole, the music is pretty boring, in all of its harmless blips and bloops, same ol’ same ol’ drumbeats and guitars, and the like. The vocals — this time courtesy of Eska Mtungwazi, Martha Tilston, and Rowdy Superstar — are uniformly lovely, but unfortunately just hang out in the hazy nothingness of the music.

The only two times the vocals really thrive are on the first track proper, “Mr McGee,” which is one of the only songs that makes a statement, and “The Road,” which is a haunting, surprising tune based around a Rhodes piano. Otherwise, though, throughout the album, it’s hard to stay awake.

I suppose Zero 7 makes their music for contemplative moments, where it can become the soundtrack to your thoughts. That’s all well and good, but even background music should announce its arrival, and Zero 7 never does. Yeah Ghost is great music for reading a newspaper or thinking about your plans for the rest of the day — but then again, silence works just as well.

Zero 7 – “Mr McGee” [MP3 removed]

Zero 7 – “The Road” [MP3 removed]

Zero 7 on MySpace

4 comments to Zero 7 are rather boring and forgettable on Yeah Ghost

  • Georgasaurus

    I agree! I just listened to it, and it is a far cry from their stellar, previous efforts. This one doesn’t move me at all.

  • Yancey

    I agree that this album is lacking in ways. And I also agree that it doesn’t stand up to some of their previous efforts, such as “Simple Things”. I was disappointed just like you.
    But after reading this review, I seriously wondered whether you actually listened to the album or not…

    Most of what you wrote was completely backwards, and some of it was self-contradicting.
    First of all, this album features the most uptempo music that Zero 7 has ever made. So I am not sure how you would think being downtempo is their “excuse”…
    Second, this album features some of the most experimental sound, and also some of the most NOISE, that Zero 7 has ever used in their music. So “all of its harmless blips and bloops, same ol’ same ol’ drumbeats and guitars” doesn’t really make any sense…
    Your main complaint is that it is boring and it puts you to sleep, but then you speak favorably of the most easy-listening track on the album, “The Road”, which by the way sounds much like a lullaby being sung to an infant at bedtime. Not to mention that the Rhodes piano is the most used piano in lounge/chillout music, by far.

    So, no offense or anything, but this review doesn’t really have any logic behind it. And it seems like you might have just skimmed through the songs and then posted this rather bleek and empty review on your blog. Other reviewers complain that this album is overly multi-faceted, that it sounds like “Zero 7 on Red Bull”, and it has even been called a “schizophrenic offering”. You just think it is boring…
    Sorry for being critical of your post. I hope you give it a second thought though. Thanks

  • H in London

    Just saw them in London, and have to say, where the hell did Zero 7 go?!
    Saw them a few years ago, with Sia I think, and they sounded great!
    Now theyre this horrible mix of gospel, drum and bass, and really old sounding new wave techno crap… wtf?!
    2nd concert Ive ever walked out of :(

    Yancey Reply:

    There is no drum and bass or techno on this album… Very little of it could be considered gospel… Just because there is a black singer with a gospel-sounding voice doesn’t mean it is gospel… But yeah, I agree. Zero 7 has very much changed their style, and mostly in a less musical direction. My main complaint is its lack of actual instrumentation. They have replaced it with looping keyboard melodies and sound effects.
    There are things to appreciate about it, but it is hard to look past all of that.

    Sia Furler left the band to pursue a more dedicated solo career. :( She was one of the main reasons I started listening to the band in the first place, so that was disappointing. Oh well, at least it didn’t totally suck. 😀