Rules

Studio Album by released in 2009

Rules review

The Whitest Boy Alive’s second album is sure to draw the deserved attention to it

The band The Whitest Boy Alive was based in Berlin and consists of a guitarist and vocalist Erlend Oye (previously a part of the duo Kings of Convenience), bassist Marcin Oz, drummer Sebastian Maschat and Daniel Nentwig playing Rhodes organ. Releasing their debut album Dreams in 2006 the musicians who started as an electronic band have gained firm reputation of the creators of remarkable music joining the funk and rock elements with pop tunes and dance tendencies. Yet despite all of its unquestionable merits for some reasons the album did not receive the deserved audience’s attention which is surely not going to happen to the sophomore effort. Recently The Whitest Boy Alive have recorded its second album Rules in a new studio in Mexico and today this wonderful collection is ready to please the listeners with the new songs in which smart philosophic lyrics are combined with faultless funk guitar hooks and contagious drums. Even a livelier, stylish and emotional than the debut work Rules is sure to become one of the year’s most successful albums.

Funk, jazz and a slight retro shade on Rules

Listening to Rules one cannot help remembering of the works of the funk lawmakers Jamiroquai and quite a young British MC Just Jack. Besides The Whitest Boy Alive has introduced enough of the synthesizers’ sound which sometimes give a slight retro shade to the compositions and the drums sometimes remind of the jazz melodies. The album consists of 11 compositions which on the whole are alike – the same is true about the debut work and for that some though it monotonous – and yet they are different in the way of their moods. The album opens with one of the best moments here, Keep A Secret: an interesting text saying that it is quite difficult to keep a secret performed with the singer’s pleasant vocals sounds just perfect with the funk arrangement. In general, Erlend’s vocals please with the wonderful soulfulness throughout the record, and his imperturbably calm manner of performance is utterly charming. Another highlight Intentions is remarkable for rather a memorable tune while Courage is such a truthful track that you will easily learn it by heart at once. Nor it will be difficult to memorize the song Timebomb as its chorus consists of the title itself whereas a relatively slow track Rollercoaster Ride makes one think of life and love. Contagious danceable songs High On The Heels and 1517 are great examples of how a good funk guitar should sound like and a more restrained Gravity tells of a classic love triangle. Another slow composition Promise Less Or Do More once again surprises with deep thoughts in the lyrics and the album closer is another danceable number Island with the most melodious guitars on the record.

The main rule is to follow no rules at all

The album title Rules is not just occasional but is directly connected with its tracks. Looking at the track list one can notice that some can be interpreted as direct imperatively formed rules (Keep A Secret, Promise Less Or Do More), and some just name the things that are necessary to remember (Intentions, Gravity, Courage). Besides, in the respect of structure this album is much more orderly and accomplished than its predecessor. No doubt The Whitest Boy Alive know not only the rules one should follow in life to make for example a relationship work but also have a clear understanding of the components and principles essential to make good music. The guitars, drums, keyboards, vocals and a bit of unearthly audio effects are put together to make a correct pattern on Rules so we can be sure that these talented musicians are good professionals. Their music makes it possible to dance and to think simultaneously and perhaps the main rule one should follow when listening to The Whitest Boy Alive’s second album is to follow no rules at all.