Zero 7: Yeah Ghost

RIYL: Radiohead, Jose Gonzalez, Sneaker Pimps

Zero 7 is a project more than a band – so while Zero 7 tours as a group and has actual band members, it’s still technically the brainchild of British producers Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns. And some of those “band members” are rotated out every album or so. Once you get a grasp on that, it doesn’t take much effort to like what Zero 7 is doing. And on their fourth album, Yeah Ghost, there is still the same electronica-driven pop, but with a few added dimensions this time around. In particular, singers Eska and Martha Tilston are new to the project, rounding out a lineup that includes a few regulars like Eddie Stevens, Tom Skinner and Robin Mullarkey. After a subtle opening instrumental, “Count Me Out,” there are some bouncy dance tracks, with Eska’s power-meets-soul vocal at the forefront of awesome tracks like “Medicine Man” and “Mr. McGee.” “Pop Art Blue” features Tilston’s folky timbre and there are some fine, if quirky, instrumentals, like the haunting “Solastalgia.” But the best track on here is “Swing,” an uber-catchy ditty that still has the Zero 7 “chill” trademark – and a song that immediately has the feel of an iPod commercial. This may not be the best Zero 7 album yet, but it’s not a huge regression, either. (Atlantic 2009)

Zero 7 MySpace Page