By Jamie McNamara
Double Six Records
By most musical metrics, the electronic music zeitgeist has passed London producer/DJ George FitzGerald by. The records that FitzGerald started his career with on labels like Aus and Hotflush in the late-aughts were the kind of UK Garage and house strains that Disclosure rode to superstardom, but by 2015 he had already left them behind when he released his debut full-length Fading Love. That album was full of moody atmospheres and the kind of dance music theatrics that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Moderat or Royksopp album.
Now, with three years in the rear view, FitzGerald returns with All That Must Be, a sophomore album that trades in the dancefloor ready heaters of FitzGerald’s early-career for slow-burning electronic works more suited for home-listening.
Unlike Fading Love, the best songs here are the ones where FitzGerald goes it alone, leaving his various guest vocalists behind. On “Siren Calls,” the producer uses his trademark ascending arpeggios and drone swells that crescendo to a massive chorus anchored by a razor-sharp acid house riff.
Still, even for all its sheen, it’s hard not to notice that on these 10 tracks, FitzGerald’s work follows a familiar template: arpeggios wind up, synth pads swell and drums drive towards a climax that usually pays off, but rarely feels new. After two albums of it, you need a little more of a hit to really feel anything, and on All That Must Be, FitzGerald doesn’t seem up to the task.All That Must Be, Double Six Records, George FitzGerald, Record Review