The trio return with two more tender jams—but is that enough?
For three such cherished innovators, Ego / Mirror, the 2011 EP by Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke, sounded pretty much as you'd expect: tender, misty, each of them slipping into their allotted roles. Their new one, which hit the shelves in London on Wednesday as part of a crafty marketing ploy, strikes very similar notes, albeit softer this time, the trio's edges blunted by the passing years (or just 2020). They remain firmly inside the box—but is this such a bad thing?
"Her Revolution" is a lovely piece, dusty and delicate, Yorke's voice at its most angelic. The pitter-patter drums strongly recall "Teardrops" by Massive Attack, adding to the track's wintery aura. The best bit might be the Burial-style coda, a hallmark of his recent work. The ghost of a new song rises from the other's ashes, all crackly and uplifting, a brief portal into another world.
"His Rope" sounds more like a Yorke solo cut than a collaboration, with the production taking a back seat to his musings on sex and death. There's still nice stuff happening underneath—distant twinkles, muted piano, maybe a rain stick?—but when these three get together you expect to be blown away. With 90 seconds to go, Burial and Four Tet emerge from the shadows, first with a foghorn, then possibly a sitar. Both sounds are beautiful, and you're left wanting more.