Breaking from their routine, Fourplay created most of the material on Heartfelt in the studio, through a process of free jamming followed by assembly of the best parts through Pro Tools editing. The differences in the results are subtle and, on balance, not necessarily positive. Though all four players are true virtuosos, the band's mellow feel encourages each to avoid excess, or its positive alter ego, adventurism, in their solos, while the improvisational core of the project tends to weaken the compositional foundations. The strongest cuts are those written by one member or two in combination; on these, from the Pat Metheny-inflected title track to Nathan East's velvety vocal showcase "Let's Make Love," the quartet's taste and fundamentally conservative aesthetic shine most brightly.
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AllMusic Review by Robert L. Doerschuk