Review of The Whitest Boy Alive's album 'Rules'
It seems that it simply isn't enough to be part of just one band, and generally any artist worth their salt has a dalliance or two elsewhere. Lead vocalist of The Whitest Boy Alive, Erland Oye, may be better known as half of Scandinavian folk-duo Kings of Convenience. But since the band have remained relatively quiet since 2004's Riot On An Empty Street, he has been free to concentrate more on this, his electronic flavoured side project.
Fans of KOC will probably find a lot on Rules to get along with; the album's feel retains the laconic, gentle style of Oye's main band, even though there isn't an acoustic guitar is in sight. But natural similarities notwithstanding, The Whitest Boy Alive's sound is truly their own. This is echoed in Oye's own sentiment, according to him this album 'is a much [a] debut album as Dreams', (their 2006 debut) and 'captures the essence' of the band's live performance. There's certainly no room for excess on the album, it's as minimalist as can be and so laid back it feels as if it's been recorded lying down. But as a result of this, the album is ambience epitomized. One of the highlights is 'Courage;' a gem of a track which encapsulates their sunshine-soaked vibes perfectly. Another treasure is the penultimate 'Dead End' which has an instant, sharp charm which hits you as soon as the track begins.
The only argument against Rules is that it's so straightforward: the band refuses to complicate their songs. But The Whitest Boy Alive's appeal lies in their simplicity, enjoyable on a stripped down, basic level. And in Rules, they have produced what could be the perfect soundtrack to summer.