Nearly all the tracks feature Hornsby’s trademark piano and synthesizer stylings, but in a much more subdued, impressionistic, and brilliantly minimalist fashion.
Several songs also feature horns and strings, giving the generally contemplative and introspective music orchestral and symphonic gravitas.
The album plays like a compendium of Hornsby’s best genre-bending sounds over the years, intersecting everything from pop and progressive rock to classical and jazz.
And Hornsby, now in his mid-60s, takes his often multi-tracked vocals to places he hasn’t in a long time.
The album contains several stunners, including the title track, "Never in This House," and "Take You There." However, "Voyager One" especially stands out with its highly infectious funk groove, sounding very much like a cross between Stevie Wonder and Sting.
Speaking of which, Absolute Zero is similar in spots to some of Sting’s solo work. The comparison isn’t so far off as Hornsby and Sting were both iconic ’80s hit makers with ears for jazz.
Regardless of influences and inspirations, the album is all Bruce Hornsby, who, in a welcome return to form, has created an exquisite work of sonic art that does indeed take the artist, his music, and those of us fortunate enough to listen and hear, "there."