The BoxerAlbum |
Bloc Party frontman's listless electronica experiment.
The Boxer, the solo debut from Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, recalls Thom Yorke’s 2006 disc The Eraser in the way it fully immerses the singer-songwriter in electronica after his band had been dabbling in the genre for some time. Yet while Yorke piqued his curiosity with a well-constructed group of songs, Kele presents a ramshackle collection that points toward synth-pop without ever having anything new to add to the style. “Tenderoni” and “All The Things I Could Never Say” could make for solid dance fare if they had stronger hooks, while tracks like “The Other Side” and “Walk Tall” are forgettable at best, irritating at worst. The problem with The Boxer – as it was with Bloc Party’s last two albums – is that Kele refuses to play to his strengths: his charm comes out when he’s barking over angular guitars and firing off catchy vocal hooks, not when he’s emoting with long syllables and sounding whiny. The only minor success on The Boxer is “Unholy Thoughts,” which sounds an awful lot like a Bloc Party track with its snappy guitar line and tight verse-chorus structure. It may be time for Kele to stop fiddling around with the synthesizer and get back to rock and roll.