Saturday, October 23, 2010

THERE IS LOVE IN YOU - Four Tet (2010)

Gentle, spare, limited in instrumentation and range of samples, DJ Kieran Hebden's first full-length Four Tet release in several years doesn't announce itself immediately the way many great albums do...but a great album it is.

For those unfamiliar with his sound, Four Tet's brand of electronica is soft, warm, and inviting, combining traditional club and dance elements with all manner of more natural, acoustic instrumentation to create a compelling sound that doesn't grab you by the throat, but if you're willing to lean in and pay attention, offers all sorts of intriguing details.

The approach here is consistent throughout...Hebden starts with a spartan but welcoming bed, then begins layering samples and glitches, and then more samples and glitches, and then more samples and glitches and so on and so on until by the end of most of these tracks you're swimming in a soft swirl of stunning yet never distancing precision and complexity.

Sing and Love Cry are my personal favorites and the two ballsiest tracks on the album, but really, the whole first two-thirds of There is Love In You is beyond reproach. Given the saminess of the sound, diminishing returns do start to set in by seventh track Reversing, but just barely, and the discipline and integrity of the pieces stay high throughout.

So, if you're an electronica fan, this is a no brainer...but the tones and feel here are so easy and warm, I encourage even readers who've never tried electronica before to give There Is Love In You a listen.

It's a wonderful entry point into the genre, and easily one of my favorite albums of 2010.

Status: Strong Recommend

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Angel Echoes, Love Cry, Sing, This Unfolds.

Component Breakdown:
1. Angel Echoes - 9
2. Love Cry - 9
3. Circling - 9
4. Pablo's Heart - i
5. Sing - 9
6. This Unfolds - 9
7. Reversing - 7
8. Plastic People - 7
9. She Just Likes to Fight - 8
Intangibles - High
Interstitials - 6

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