Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Four Tet

  • Rounds [Domino, 2003] A-
  • Everything Ecstatic [Domino, 2005] A-
  • There Is Love in You [Domino, 2010] *
  • Pink [Text, 2012]

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rounds [Domino, 2003]
Charming, civilized, childish, Kieran Hebden imagines an aural space in which electronic malfunction is cute rather than annoying or ominous. Keys and strings go their own merry way toward the same pretty, toylike goal, and though the drums grumble sometimes, they can be counted on to help their friends the glitches in a pinch. The computer as music box--which is what guys like Hebden think it is, after all. A-

Everything Ecstatic [Domino, 2005]
Kieran Hebden does pack a lot of ideas, or maybe they're really just sounds, into a song, or maybe the term is album cut. But he's always lyrical. There's never that Conlon-Nancarrow-meets-Squarepusher sense of machine-scale speed exploited to evoke the workings of a mind that should take it easy already. Rounds was so lyrical, in fact, that it drove genre obsessives to the neologism "folktronica." Many such folks are disquieted by Hebden's constitutionally protected decision to dabble in the usages of drum'n'bass, which are every laptopper's roots, after all. The drums get busy at times, but never fear--this sounds more like Rounds than it does like anything else. Just a little funkier. A-

There Is Love in You [Domino, 2010]
Formerly naturalistic soundscaper begins with "Angel Echoes" and privileges pretty throughout ("Plastic People," "Sing"). *

Pink [Text, 2012]
[2013 Dean's List: 25]