Currently enjoying “There is Love in You” by Four Tet

I briefly met Kieran “Four Tet” Hebden as a concert promoter for my university back in 2001. I had booked him as an opener for DJ Food at a show at one of the campus pubs. It wasn’t a very crowded show – because I wasn’t a very good promoter – but it was a great bunch of performances, and Hebden’s set in particular was one of the best I got to see all year. In fact, looking back at a pretty intense year of Canadian rock stars, extroverted comedians and fun loving jam bands, Hebden stands out in my mind as the second most shy and reserved performer that I was able to put in front of an audience that year. The first was Hayden, who was also terrific, but that’s another story for another time.

Then again, maybe I remember a guy I spent four hours with nine years ago that way because it’s the sort of person his music suggests he’d be. Quiet and unassuming, with something undeniably deep and clever going on below the surface, just like his records. I know that’s a really shoddy analogy, but at least the new album There is Love in You lives up to it.

To call Four Tet’s music subtle doesn’t really do it justice; the album doesn’t hit you over the head with its beats and burbles, but it doesn’t let you mind your own business either. The moment an undeniably groovy drum riff drops over the humming synth lines of “Love Cry,” the album’s second track and lead single, it all but buckles you in for the album to follow.

As it progresses, whether you’re listening to the melodious threes of “Circling,” the lightly funky “Sing,” the mellow “This Unfolds,” the pensive “Reversing,” the shuffling drone of “Plastic People” or the mournful “She Just Likes to Fight,” you’re practically compelled to follow along one way or another. And once you actively engage with it, you realize just how much is happening behind the beats and loops.

It’s an unfortunately brief album, and a great listen from start to finish. Hell, I just singled out pretty much all of the album’s nine tracks up there, and “Pablo’s Heart” only escaped attention because it’s only twelve seconds long. In fact, for the sake of being thorough, let me add that “Angel Echoes” is a strong and emotive opener. Each track, in the end, is a notable and enjoyable component of the latest entry in an impressive body of work.

Posted in Currently Enjoying