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"Heartbreaker EP"

Release date: 02 December 2013
Kele Okereke – Heartbreaker EP
03 December 2013, 13:30 Written by Joe Daniels

Kele Okereke seems blighted by self-consciousness. Like MGMT – who this year released their divisive and deliberately challenging third album – he appears so keen to escape his former radio-cozy glory that he throws himself and the listener into further and further into unknown territory. The result often baffles rathen than beguiles, and on the Heartbreaker EP Okereke sounds assured only in the newness of his new direction.

Essentially a house EP, there is very little to coddle the fans who once got their hair cut like Russell Lissack. Instead are four amorphous, vocal-light sonic swirls. Opener “Get Up”, replete with finger snaps, synths that sound like they belong to Caribou, and a heavily treated refrain of that familiar dance mantra “Get up”. The song drifts in and out of focus, sometimes at a whimper.

“God Has A Way” is again DJ-mix fodder but a little more racy than the track before it. It skitters along jauntily enough, sure to get people pogoing about in dark rooms in East London, but then some downright cringe-inducing call and response vocals kick in and the whole thing starts to sound rather desperate. It’s like the man is agonizing to prove his chin-stroking dance music credentials, but it just doesn’t convince.

Final track “Heartbreaker” is the best on offer here, a song that feels genuinely danceable even outside of the shadowy clublands for which it is intended. Unfortunately though, it’s too little too late on an EP that really underwhelms.

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