Norwegian singer Erlend Øye has one of the most effortlessly smooth voices in the underground pop world, and any project he's involved with seems to play to that strength. The latest such effort is The Whitest Boy Alive's second album, Rules. It's a well-refined collection of jazz-infused pop with the cool flow of people casually traversing a Scandinavian club's basement.
Rules is a dapper mix of modern electronics and old school lounge jazz, peppered with catchy melodies and mind-tickling instrumentation. Øye delivers chilled vocal performances from melancholy to the cheerful while synths and flickering guitars mingle, like on "High On The Heels". The quartet gels throughout the album, especially on calm jams like "Keep A Secret" and "Courage".
On Rules, the new school meets the old school and they get along fantastically. Mid-twentieth century, black & white lounge jams get a dose of modern European electronics in a sly blend of entertainment and innovation.
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