Kele Okereke review: The kitsch is all right – just about

Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 05:00



Kele Okereke



Former Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke trades in the razor-wire guitar lines, club beats and adrenaline-fuelled vocals for the entire twee pop starter kit. Acoustic picks, moaning accordions, ringing tambourines, pretty violins – Fatherland is a rootsy, kitschy collection of songs that could make Wes Anderson bend the knee.

Paul McCartney’s influence can be felt on whimsical numbers such as Capers, while Yemeya sees Okereke deliver a convincing ode to one of the album’s acknowledged forefathers, Nick Drake.

The best song is Do U Right, a spotless, bluesy groove boasting some fresh organ chords and plenty of hot brass. But too many tracks – the piano ballad Portrait, for example – fail to elevate beyond “sounds nice enough” status to make this anything more than a sort of interesting stylistic departure for Okereke.