In the five years since Kieran Hebden a/k/a Four Tet last dropped a full-length, the playing field has been seriously leveled for sample-based electronic music. The plucky Brit's response has been to eschew the spiky edges of 2005's Everything Ecstatic and focus on the details at the periphery of the sound. Indeed, this new release is a work of subtle majesty, sidestepping whatever you might think of as "folktronica" while still keeping everything from running into the red.
There Is Love in You wouldn't sound terribly out of place seductively blasting from an Ann Taylor Loft. Perhaps that's due to the album's four-on-the-floor heartbeat: as it builds and ebbs and burbles all sorts of jittery and tickly effervescence, it does so atop insistent beats that stay propulsive even when the music begins to fold, as on the appropriately titled opener, "Angel Echoes." But allow yourself to get caught in the snare-drum trap that is, say, the home stretch of "Love Cry," or the fairly warned-about last half of "This Unfolds," and you'll experience some of the purest electronic music being made.
"Plastic People" is so near-visual, you can almost pick out the colors lingering in the air when it's over, like the fruity or metallic notes left in your mouth after the champagne bubbles subside. If this sort of close reading isn't what you listen to music for, fear not: you could also get obliterated in a club to There Is Love in You and fall into an empty-headed trance. If beauty is where you find it, consider this album a potential treasure trove.