Title - 'The Garden' (Atlantic)
Artist - Zero 7
I don't know how they do it, these zany Brits. I got the CD for review from my Editor, I listened to the CD, I've heard what my friends had to say about the CD ... and as much contrast as seems to be drawn here, they're ALL true. You're gonna love and/or hate this one. I'm as big a fan of this team as any and I don't know what to make of this, nearly. At first I thought "what has happened here?" - so outrageously different from most of their previous work - beyond classification almost like some nutty musical. But I put it into the rotation and forced myself to listen, being a fan and all, and suddenly ...! The stand out tracks, the ones that have flung their grappling hooks into my brain, are all Sia Furler's (4,8,12). Not for nothing, but I've always been amazed that a small white chick can have such a big voice. In contrast (and maybe that was the point?) Jose's tracks come off likes the Beach Boys on ludes, man. Makes me think that the production duo of Binns and Hardaker may have yet found their calling--as Sia's producers/session band, that is - and that I outta just start taking her CD's seriously and buy one or both. I'd rate Destiny as one of my TopTenTunes - but she's in full Sgt. Pepper mode here, showing musical and lyrical range of which I'd not previously imagined her capable. Good on ya, sister - I'd love to turn you on! As for Zero 7, I still love the first two albums and that can't be taken away. Thing is, if you're like me and you've been bored for the last year or so waiting for something to come along and give you a reason to charge your iPod, I say take a chance on this. Some of these tunes are downright addictive and no matter what the beef some may have, The Garden is still better that 95% of the awfulness that's out there now.