Album review: The Whitest Boy Alive
Facts about this album:
* The Whitest Boy Alive are Erlend Øye (guitar and vocals), Marcin Oz (bass) Sebastian Maschat (drums) and Daniel Nentwig (keyboards).
* Erlend Øye was formerly one half of Kings Of Convenience.
* ‘Rules’ is the band’s second album, following 2007’s ‘Dreams’.
After flitting from Kings Of Convenience to solo work to doing vocals for Röyksopp, Erlend Øye’s first album helming The Whitest Boy Alive, 2007’s ‘Dreams’, saw him hit his sweetest spot yet with sparse, taut’n’funky wither-pop as deft as it was danceable. Its simplicity was its beauty. Bizarre, then, that for the follow-up Øye has amped up the brass parps and three-star-hotel-bar keyboard squiggles so it balloons into the kind of easy-listening dirge that sounds out of place anywhere other than the inside of a Jurys Inn lift. The plodding likes of ‘Intentions’ are so lethargic they leave your fingers itching for the defibrillators in a desperate attempt to jolt some kind of electricity into proceedings. ‘Courage’, meanwhile, sounds like something Jay Kay would pick for an ‘All Back To Mine’ compilation. And there’s only one real toe-tapper on offer (we’ll give him ‘High On The Heels’, boasting some swish Calvin Harris-esque robo-bleeps). So, his odd decision to make Jamiroquai-like pillow-pop adds yet another string to Øye’s heavily-laden bow, but this is one we’d happily take the wire-cutters to.