Name of Album: Another Late Night
Ratings: Personal - 5 General - 5
Release Date: Out Now

Like so many other records that interface, interject, intersperse, interweave, inter-inter, and even intertwine snippets of AM talk radio dialogue or after-midnight college FM prattle, Zero 7's latest installment, Another Late Night (ALN), begins is magical carpet ride, a musical travelogue through the streets of Detroit and Los Angeles and New York and Londontown with a sample of something similar to Play Misty for Me.

But unlike two other similar soundtracks with various artists that I have heard in the last 12 months that employ just such radio-play sampling (i.e. Amores Perros, and Paris Lounge: Day & Night) this is pure Clint Eastwood meets Tony Blair, an understated pair of guardians of the English speaking world quietly kicking up dirt as they saunter into clean up town—a desolate corner of the wild west that has suddenly been ridden by a gang of ruffians holding court with a merry and exhausted company of harlots to entertain them at the only bar in town, the Redman's Salon. This misbehaving and often ugly motley bunch being other music lately, 7 Zero the heros.

Track 3, Roots Manuva's Witness is by far my favorite treat on this album. I play it so often that I'm beginning to feel guilty about neglecting his brethren tracks. Roots plays Witness like a space invader- galactica intro — if you isolate your senses and allow yourself to be swallowed by the sound you can almost find yourself floating on a Fantastic Journey, gliding through capillaries, down into arterioles, squeezing into venules and eventually getting to ride a loop-di-loop of a major aorta.

Among other notable tracks number 11, Happiness, was one quite emotive of its title, evoking an innocent joy—of a boy reminiscing about his summer love just as the leaves begin to fall from above, and right before the winter chill forces him to realize she is gone.

My little-less-than-couth friend, Mr. Tell-it-like-it-is told me that he thought track 12, You Cant' Turn Me Away, sounded like it had a farting track underneath Slyvia Striphin's voice. Upon the next round of listening - I too heard the flatu-sound. Track 13, Holding You, Loving You, was a little less stomach rattling, with the vocalist Don Blackman sounding a lot like Al Jareau.

Overall, I must convey that I was smitten with my Zero Heros when they inaugurated their submission for well -deserved recognition with their first album, simple things— now I'm wholly bewitched. All the tracks on Another Late Night pretty much fulfill the promise of the group's PR release and liner notes, which claim:

"Let’s get one thing straight from the start. This isn’t chill out music. It may be mellow music for relaxing, for pondering both the melodies and life itself, but it’s also steeped in so much soul and funk, earmarking it "chill out" barely begins to make sense." (PR)

"If there's one word that can be used to sum up Zero 7 it's this: quiet. That is quiet as contemplative, rather than nothing to say. Quiet as in understated and thoughtful…It's this thoughtful ness that has been most evident in their scant, yet precious, remix output thus far, with arrangements so precise and beautiful they verge on mathematical." (Liner Notes)