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The Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur

C+
Album: Ma Fleur
Label: Ninja Tune

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On 1999's Motion and 2002's Every Day, producer Jason Swinscoe assembled beguiling grooves from a mixture of looped rhythms and live-band improvisation. On The Cinematic Orchestra's Ma Fleur, he goes in a logically organic direction, with tracks that are more through-composed and heavier on vocals. They're also less attention-grabbing than before: Swinscoe's real gift is for atmospheric rhythm, and Ma Fleur is heavy on atmospheric standing still, with tunes not beguiling enough to make listeners stop to examine them up close. And as usual when instrumental artists start emphasizing words, the lyrics are pretty wet: "For wisdom is so much more than what we know," we're informed on "Time And Space." Whatever you say, guys.