Ever since he first broke away from his formative outfit Bloc Party to pursue a solo venture, Kele Okereke has always been an unpredictable name on the new music scene. While much of his early solo work was focused around an electronic ideal, he quickly began to change tack over the years, merging some of his alt-rock origins into the mix as well. And while his latest three studio album run was interrupted by Bloc Party's return last year, he now returns with his sixth solo outing 'The Flames Pt. 2', a record that pursues a far more experimental avenue than we have heard from him before.
Following on from his 2021 effort 'The Waves Pt. 1', you would expect this new collection to be more of a continuation of his recent material. But instead, 'The Flames Pt. 2' is a far more adventurous and innovative take on his distinctive guise. Largely honing a kaleidoscopic approach to production, threaded together by a sparse vocal performance throughout, much of his new release is a mix of fresh and inventive ideas that come together only some of the time. Pursuing an extremely unique aesthetic this time around, it does sometimes come across as underbaked in places.
But despite some of the more outlandish offerings scattered throughout his new collection, 'The Flames Pt. 2' still makes for a largely fascinating listen. Clearly on the cusp of the next phase within his musical evolution, his bravery to try and develop new concepts has not quite caught up to his ability to execute them yet, but still has some intriguing moments to enjoy.