‘All That Must Be’ is by no means a perfect record but is a record which continues to show the promise of George FitzGerald.
‘Transitional’ is the word to best describe London producer George FitzGerald‘s second full-length release All That Must Be. The record sees the producer return back to the city after a decade-long stint in Berlin, a time which has seen FitzGerald become a mainstay on Radio 1 and Radio 6Music as his delicate and open music invites its way into your ears.
So when FitzGerald announced he was going to be changing up his signature dancefloor sound to reflect the change in his life – brought on by the birth of his first child – intrigue began to blossom. The result on All That Must Be is a fantastic record which contemplates excellently on the upheaval of one’s life, even if a couple of beats miss the mark along the way.
From the outset, All That Must Be is a record which gravitates once more towards open spaces, but where in previous work those spaces would be occupied by a vocal, here the sounds are left to meditate and consider. Opening track ‘Two Moons Under’ features a cacophony of beats and glitches which bathe around each other excellently, it’s a magnificent start to the record and immediately gives a sense of where we are heading throughout the journey.
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The record is a more organic affair compared to previous LP Fading Love with the array of textured sounds, both live and synthetic, being just one example of the transition between records. There are hints of Four Tet in the spellbinding beats of ‘Freida’, where the restraint to add sounds pays off well, while there’s also hints of Nosaj Thing (‘The Echo Forgets’) and Clark in the record’s more minimal and abstract moments.
The record changes its tone when additional personnel is brought in, though sometimes the ideas are hit and miss. ‘Half Light’ is stale in the performance of Everything But The Girl’s Tracey Thorn, with the swirling beat proving tiresome over the tracks shorter length. The same can also be said for the forgettable ‘Nobody But You’ collaboration with Hudson Scott, an offensively inoffensive track which does little for either artist.
However, there are moments of bliss between FitzGerald and Lil Silva on ‘Roll Back’. The track is a slower affair with drawn-out synths and hums providing the backdrop for the haunting vocal of Silva when he asks “Is it cold when you’re dreaming?”. Elsewhere, there is a delightful duet with British beat-maker Bonobo on the minimalist ‘Outgrown’. Featuring rattling percussion and an ethereal beat, the track brings out the best in both producers as the live piano sound provides a moment of reflection towards the end.
All That Must Be is by no means a perfect record, but is one which continues to show the promise of George FitzGerald. When the record clicks on it’s more open and organic displays, it is a record which few can match; for now, however, this is a snapshot of an artist in transition – where that transition leads, is anyone’s guess. (7/10) (John Tindale)
Listen to All That Must Be by George FitzGerald here via Spotify. Do you agree or disagree let us know via Twitter and you can listen to the album below.
Tags: album, All That Must Be, Domino, George FitzGerald, Hot Flush, John Tindale, review
Reading Music Journalism at Huddersfield University, I have a passion for all things musical. I pride myself on being open minded in music genres and have a love of writing to match. The coolest cat on The Student Playlist, I also support Hartlepool United and am an avid pro-wrestling fan.
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