Fatherland is a pleasant album. Beyond that I struggle to find any way to describe it and that’s an issue.
Kele Okereke is a brilliant songwriter, and for me particularly Bloc Party’s Weekend in the City is an iconic album, one I first listened to at age 12 and revisit regularly to this day without being bored. I don’t see Fatherland entering my consciousness in the same way.
I don’t see Fatherland entering my consciousness
Okereke has gone acoustic on this album, a departure from Bloc Party’s bombastic, pounding sound. The songs on the album have the feeling of old standards; songs to everyone’s taste but not distinctive. ‘Capers’ and ‘Streets Been Talkin” are sweet. ‘You Keep Whispering His Name’ is like a creeping lullaby, in fact its reminiscent of ‘Lullaby’ by The Cure, just less interesting. Guest spots from Olly Alexander and Corinne Bailey Rae but they don’t add much beyond variety.
I tried to formulate an opinion on this album, either love or hate. But I had no gut reaction to it. I didn’t find enough in it to criticize or praise. It reminds me in a way of Laura Marling’s Semper Femina. That album promised interesting themes and perspectives, but failed to deliver them in an interesting way. Oreke’s meditations on fatherhood and ageing are similarly dull.