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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Four Tet's Kieren Hebden and drummer Steve Reid team up for the fourth time on this album about New York City.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Reid’s rolling, sweeping, ever-present groove takes on colors and textures, courtesy of Hebden and his suite of gizmos (real or imagined), but it’s always the same hard road, the same track of tandem steel rays that cut through every borough, every station, every hall and every mind.
  2. Under The Radar
    Recorded over two days in February, the six-track album never grates but instead remains funky and accessible without pandering to the listener. [Year End 2008]
  3. 80
    The duo's virtuosic picture of the 21st-century city feels so alive it might convince Escape From New York's Snake Plissken to return.
  4. The Wire
    Hebden is clearly striving for dancefloor impact--but Reid's drumming is so untethered and, frankly, messy, that it sucks the explosions out of whatever bombs Hebden's trying to drop. [Dec 2008, p.60]
  5. While far from easy listening, the mechanics of NYC sound positively pastoral, and the interplay between Reid and Hebden, formerly spastic and indebted to the free-est of jazz, is now melodic, the give and pull of the rhythmic forces against the melodic textures gentler, and the songs more likely to cause subtle head-bobbing and confused stares.
  6. 60
    The music is supposed to feel representative of the big apple, but, aside from the song titles, this is a feeling I failed to really grasp onto. Thankfully this is probably the least important part, because after listening to this record a few minutes I realized how special it really was.
  7. Reid’s creative phrasing and pulse games are, as always, a fascinating contrast to the rigid rhythmic grids typical of Four Tet constructions, but on NYC the pair doesn’t seem to find a happy middle ground anywhere.

See all 11 Critic Reviews