The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules

Paul Cook 17/04/2009

Rating: 4/5

Three years in the making and The Whitest Boy Alive return with the follow-up to their chilled out funky electro debut album with Rules again full of fresh, simply constructed toe-tapping rhythms. Minimalist indie-pop, as the Berlin-based band's style has been dubbed, doesn't quite sum up The Whitest Boy Alive's refreshing style. It is actually closer to a succinct concoction of jazz, indie, pop and electro with sprinklings of funk for good measure. All this makes for a deliciously addictive album of easy listening.

Opening tracks Keep a Secret and Intentions contain both stylistic leanings of the band. The first displaying a real knack for catchy, funky guitar riffs whilst also incorporating newer synth and electro sounds and the latter featuring smoother, stripped back jazz-guitars and pianos. The first half of the album sticks very much to this simplistic yet infectious style before shifting into a more electro-funk gear.

High on the Heels mixes electro-pop basslines and melodies with interspersed jazz and funk guitar riffs. 1517 typifies the band's casual, modern jazz-club feel whilst Gravity and Promise Less or Do More demonstrate a talent for smooth, uber-cool walking basslines. Dead End, the more intricate, layered single of the album makes great use of electronic accents to accompany the funky simplified riff.

Vocally front man Erland Oye has a love or hate quality. At times his airy, carefree vocals gift the music a uniquely laid back style but on other tracks, namely the more electro, upbeat tracks the vocals jar slightly with the cheerfulness and modernity of the instrumentals. This aside, Rules is a fun, catchy, refreshing album which you'll find yourself putting on repeat time and again.

Rules is out now.