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He was the mysterious person of Prince-influenced pop-funk. Black/white/male/female? No-one knew. Now all of a sudden his disjointed mug appears in everything from the Harrogate Advertiser to Dogs Monthly, including popping on the front of this, his debut album. He has also collaborated with Damon Albarn but don’t let that put you off.
The opening track here ‘Call Me Up’ is a slinky funk workout that recalls Outkast played at 16rpm, it’s actually quite fantastic, his voice has the squashed quality of Cee Lo Green. ‘Heal’ is a more commercial proposition and less interesting as a result but it’s not hard to see the unwashed hoards going crazy in a field to this once the summer festivals crank up. The chicken impersonation he does on the chorus provides the main hook and is the finest poultry impersonation in pop since David Byrne on ‘Psycho Killer’.
‘One Day’ is a slow jam, creeping along with Beck-like vocals and just strange enough to not become Moby. And after that, I’ve kind of lost interest. I have switched off completely and started musing instead on the awful Public Service Broadcasting record and why the Guardian deem it album-of-the-week worthy. Anyway despite its good start the album seems a little of a one-trick pony, what you are getting is squashed Beck like vocals, bloopy squelchy electronica, disjointed hip hop beats.
There are some good moments ‘Go With The Wind’ bounces along nicely with a quite astonishing chorus that you may not forget in a hurry. Doom turns up on ‘Owl’ talking about farting cows. It does inject something a bit different into the proceedings which seems to liven the album up a bit in time for ‘Fly’ which you will have probably heard before somewhere, it continues with the Moby thing, like southern gospel music updated for the ipad generation. A hit and miss affair but with enough hits to ensure it rises above the tat in time for festival season.
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