Boratto's fourth album, Abaporu, sees him continuing in that exploratory mode, wandering from style to style in typically graceful fashion. Melody is at the forefront of songs like "Please Don't Take Me Home," whose percussive chords and funky guitar line are punctuated by a whiplash snare. "Too Late," released a few months back as a single, is a synapse-tickling gem with an indie-disco edge, its bouncy bass, addictive keys and playful percussion offsetting a wistful vocal. And with its new-wave bassline, shimmering six-string and subtly soaring keyboards, "Where I Belong" almost sounds like montage music from a John Hughes film.
Which isn't to say Abaporu doesn't have its share of straightforward club thumpers. "Joker" positively oozes late-night drama. "22" merges its spacious, grand-gesture melody—sounding a bit like M.A.N.DY. in that duo's mid-'00s prime—with percolating keys, an addictive breakbeat and, towards the end, a bit of guitar twang. (Boratto, who worked with Garth Brooks and many others in his pre-clubland days, really seems to like that sound, and has returned to it throughout his career.) The title track might be the most straightforward club cut on the album; its acidic vibe, swingy rhythm and jacking groove make it the techiest track of the lot.
Amid all this diversity, Abaporu is a remarkably steady work, with Boratto's consistent sound palette and knack for melody running strong throughout. But the album's range ensures there are plenty of surprises to be uncovered, too, waiting for both fans of electronic pop and pure club music.