Kieran Hebden has been at this game longer than most, so it’s no surprise that people expected big things from his latest effort under the Four Tet moniker. There Is Love In You has already garnered a lot of interest over the Internet, though one must look at it through their own looking glass in order to fully evaluate where this record falls.
For me, I’m not one to fall easily for Intelligent Dance Music, and it really has to be something to knock me off my feet in order me to appreciate it, let alone even contemplate trying to understand it. I remember Aphex Twin videos blowing me away, but that was based more upon twisted imagery in the videos. DJ Shadow blew me away, but at the time, I had a faint interest in hip-hop. But now, I’m not really into that sort of thing, especially since it lacks solid vocal involvement, which is one of the main reasons I listen to the stuff I do.
Now, as far as this album goes, I’m going to have to stand on the sidelines and watch the rest of the adoring fans as they chase Kieran Hebden around. Song after song just seems like really simple loops being placed atop each other at certain intervals. At times, like during the aptly titled “Sing,” you get some fearful moaning of sorts in the background, but nothing worthy of latching onto as a whole.
For me, there has to be some sort of sharp shift in the music, some sort of influential piece of movement within a song, and this, by and large doesn’t really seem to have that sort of craftsmanship to it. Given, the use of space and timing here does seem to accomplish the affects that Hebden is associated with in his work, but I can’t lie and tell you that any of it is all that interesting. After more than a dozen listens, this album only made me focus more on my immediate surroundings as opposed to this record, which I suppose is a lot to say for an album.
The duration of There Is Love In You allows for the listener to look within himself (herself, if you so choose) while the content of the loops and layering of sounds only makes things appear more cosmic, in a sense. You can feel yourself being absorbed into your surrounding, sinking within yourself, and that is entirely due to the non-invasive quality of the music on Four Tet‘s latest album. It’s perfect for what it is. It allows you to successfully pass the time while being absorbed in your own world. Perhaps my anxiety about the world’s plights have always served as a blockage to my understanding of IDM, and for that I apologize. Remember, this is just one man’s opinion of walking alone with this album, absorbed in himself for once, thanks to this album.