4hero - Play With The Changes
It’s been six years since 4hero’s last album, Creating Patterns, the duo’s most recent radio play being thanks to an excellent remix of Plantlife’s When She Smiles She Lights The Sky. The opening track here, Morning Child (featuring the vocals of Carina Andersson), is of a similar standard. An inspirational, string-soaked piece of soul, it feels like it should be accompanied by sun streaming through the blinds and one waking up beside their dream partner.
The rest of Play With The Changes continues the mellow soul vibe, sometimes fusing it with subtle drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop or jazz. (If an album by The Fall screams "John Peel", this screams "Gilles Peterson".) It also utilises an army of different vocalists; yet, while never less than classy, little else stands out. Take My Time and Look Inside are pleasant enough, Awakening is more striking for being a spoken word spiritual poem, and one might recognise Superwoman as a (less than radical) take on a song originally by Stevie Wonder. Otherwise, this is a lush, immaculately produced record, but its air of worthiness makes for a rather dull listening experience.