Maturity rarely belongs in pop music. Dr Robert was the singer in minor modernist chart sensations The Blow Monkeys, one of the reasons the '80s are remembered with such disdain. And guess what? He's

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Flatlands

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Flatlands

Maturity rarely belongs in pop music. Dr Robert was the singer in minor modernist chart sensations The Blow Monkeys, one of the reasons the ’80s are remembered with such disdain. And guess what? He’s still at it, recording ‘grown-up’ music from the comfort of his home. Always a bad sign.

Despite a recent collaboration with [a]Beth Orton[/a], Dr Robert resolutely fails to inject any semblance of soul into this. Instead, it’s an interminable trawl through workaday funk, gospel and blues so passionlessly executed it makes Paul Weller sound like Robert Johnson. The opening ‘Easy Road‘ sets the trend: a lethargic reggae/blues gloop that hints at UB40, while he plummets to the album’s nadir with the overwrought ballad, ‘I Guess This Is Goodbye‘.

Young pups, listen and learn. Grow old with dignity, because nobody should be reduced to sounding this desperate. Twelve years on from his biggest hit, Dr Robert no longer blows. Now, he just sucks.