4HERO Creating Patterns (Talkin' Loud) Rating: NNNN
It's foolish and misleading to call what 4Hero are doing "house music." There is almost nothing on the massive-sounding Creating Patterns to connect 4Hero with the club scene they've helped jazz up. There are beats here, but very little you could dance to. Instead, the London duo have created string-drenched new soul music approached with an epic vision. Ursula Rucker, Jill Scott and Terry Callier turn up to croon over the sleek fusion, and for once, 4Hero's string soul sounds like the real deal and not just a trick to give their beats weight. At 15 tracks and 78 minutes, Creating Patterns is too long by a third, but the remarkable ambition here deserves it.