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Since realising that he'd always had a dance element to his music, Kele Okereke's output has been divisive, with latter Bloc Party releases and his solo material splitting critics and fans alike. New seven track mini-album 'The Hunter' may go some way to remedying that, but those hoping for a return to the 'Silent Alarm' sound should be warned that there's barely a guitar in sight. New York producer XXXChange is on board once again and ensures that things sound a touch less like dance music made by someone who doesn't understand dance music this time around, although there are occasions where the beats and pulses sound a touch outdated and whether is this by design or by accident is unclear.
Despite this 'The Hunter' is a likeable record and it's impossible to deny Kele's knack with a tune. Lead single 'What Did I Do?' takes 90s Balearic house and gives it a sprinkling of dubstep and a sweet vocal from Lucy Taylor, 'Release Me' is a great pop melody bedded on carnival rhythms, in fact melody is key throughout, dragging the songs from mediocre to enjoyable - if you can get past the 15 years old techno flourishes that is. 'Goodbye Horses' is the sound of an aerobics session at the gym, being, as it is, well endowed in the Hi-NRG stakes. There's little here that will win back the indie kids but enough to win a few fans less insistent on guitars. Approach, but with caution.
Buy the album.
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