Parenthood changes people in all kinds of ways. For Kele Okereke, the frontman of Bloc Party, the birth of his daughter, Savannah, last year has led him to abandon the lascivious disco of 2014’s solo album, Trick. Fatherland is folky, largely unadorned, though Capers, bizarrely, flirts with cabaret. But while the singer’s reference points are otherwise flawless (Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Elliott Smith’s Either/Or), and the songs possess a pleasing vulnerability, Okereke’s shaky voice means that Fatherland is far slighter than it might have been. Only Versions of Us truly resonates, and that’s thanks in no small part to Corinne Bailey Rae, whose interplay with Okereke is a joy.
Paul Mardles is a subeditor on the Observer New Review