A compilation of three previously released EPs (Carrier, Sickening Bridge, Variegated), Three-Four will be something that the die-hard fans of the Shipping News will not have much of an interest in, seeing as to how they most likely have this material. However, since the EPs are now out of print and will remain that way, the band thought it best to combine all the songs on to one album. What is displayed is a 14-song album of great contrasts with mathy display on some songs ("Haunted on Foot") and noisy electronica influence on others ("Paper Lanterns"). With some help from Elliott's Chris Higdon on "We Start to Drift," Shipping News also covers the eerily ambient sound as well. The same general sound familiar with past works is evident on this album -- those references to Rodan and June of 44 still apply -- but there is a successful degree of experimentation on the songs that is not only tolerable but helpful for an act to constantly remain on top of its game and be relevant with fans. Three-Four certainly shows the Shipping News to be continuing in the right direction.
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AllMusic Review by Kurt Morris