Review Summary: 2 songs that should be all over the radio
Will Bevan is notoriously reclusive. In spite of his ever-increasing celebrity, he has continually refused to perform in front of an audience and has given very few interviews since it was revealed that he was the man behind Burial
in 2008. It therefore came as a surprise when he decided to include Thom Yorke
) in his second collaboration with former schoolmate Kieran Hebden (better known as Four Tet
Yet what’s perhaps even more surprising is that the Radiohead front man, one of the quintessential music figures of our time, appears to take a backseat in the recording process. With his incredibly unique brand of dark, brooding and subtle dubstep, Burial’s beats direct the collaboration, and his low pulsing rhythms are matched by Four Tet’s high hats and Yorke’s distinct and effeminate vocals. Content to run with what they are given, Yorke and Hebden give greater balance and ease to Burial’s usual sound.
In the ultra-smooth and more straightforward Ego
, Four Tet and Burial establish their connection before Thom Yorke seduces us (“I bet they just throw themselves at you”). The song rises us, willing us to move, shiver and get intoxicated by the sounds. Yet it is dynamic enough that it wouldn’t be out of place if playing in a dancehall or a lounge bar.
The more complex and introspective Mirror
balances things out beautifully. This time it is Four Tet and Thom Yorke who establish a connection first, as Burial weaves in and around, taking the lead and dropping his dynamic beat only when he needs to. “Reveal yourself / Show yourself” pleads Thom Yorke amidst a gorgeously dystopian atmosphere, giving recognition to the struggles of looking yourself in the eye and trying to come to terms with who you really are.
Many had an astonishingly negative reaction to this release, calling it overindulgent and wishing simply that the 3 artists in question would release another LP of their own rather than waste time on a 2 song collaboration. But with all the dynamics of these 3 ultra-talented musicians on full display, take the time to sit back and enjoy what they managed to create; you won’t be disappointed.