Review - Four Tet: There Is Love in You
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It's been over four years since Kieran Hebden released his last album as Four Tet.
In the meantime he's been busy in almost every other way possible, cropping up everywhere as producer, remixer, label boss and collaborator, most notably on some intriguing and frequently stunning work with jazz drummer Steve Reid.
Amidst all that, he also reformed his old post-rock outfit Fridge alongside neo-folkster Adem, which must have felt like a slightly awkward indie school-reunion, each member having followed very different career paths.
There will, however, always be room for the uniquely mesmerising sound collages he makes under the Four Tet moniker. Having become the go-to guy for intelligent, often subdued electronica, previous effort Everything Ecstatic left us with a jazzy, often manic sound, despite coming up slightly short in comparison to the modern classic status enjoyed by his masterpieces, Pause from 2001 and 2003's Rounds.
There Is Love In You (an uplifting title if there ever was one) is just as lush as any of its predecessors, concentrating more on electronic and vocal samples than the earthier instrumentation which often shapes his work. The opening duo of 'Angel Echoes' and 'Love Cry' are both built around warped female vocals, creating a slight creepiness that nicely balances out the prettiness of the music.
Elsewhere 'Circling' and 'This Unfolds' - as you'd expect from those titles - play around with loops to spellbinding effect. And nothing ever outstays its welcome: 'Love Cry' is the only epic here, and its nine minutes are far too entrancing to ever qualify as overblown.
Hebden has always been at the forefront of 'dance' music, but on this album he's included a few songs you might actually be able to dance to. On 'Sing' he delves straight into techno, while the shuffling beats of 'Plastic People' sound crafted for the dancefloor in every way, minus the odd baby sample at the end.
There's a few nods to earlier albums. Closer 'She Just Likes To Fight' is the most gorgeous song on the album, an organic slow jam complete with cowbells and bongos. It resembles, well, 'Slow Jam' which finished off Rounds. There's nothing earth-shattering on here, but what's most important is that every track has the warm glow and instant likeabilty we've been missing all these years.