For his second album and first release on Domino Records, George Fitzgerald has decided to cut back on vocal guests and place his production talents firmly in the spotlight. The problem is that his instrumentals aren’t particularly interesting.
Opener Two Moons Under is nice enough, with lingering chords and a rubbery bassline being the closest Fitzgerald gets to future house, but there isn’t much separating the second track from the first, or the third track from the first and second.
Most of the album can be summed up thus: droning low-end, housey percussion that patters along harmlessly, vocal samples reminiscent of Burial and glittering arpeggiated synths. The latter sometimes take a while to make their entrance, and build-ups are often present to add momentum, although they are not always well-placed, as the anti-climactic end of Nobody But You can attest.
Slight alterations are made to his formula deeper into the album. Siren Calls is more intense and sports an acid-style synth line, Outgrown – with Bonobo – adds piano to create a wistful mood. But the real highlights are the two tracks with lyrics, Roll Back with Lil Silva and the suitably nocturnal Half-Light (Night Version) with Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl. These songs play to Fitzgerald’s strengths. By contrast, the rest of the album feels like watching a stage with no performers on it. A well-lit stage, as Fitzgerald can create a mood well, but still fundamentally a hollow experience.