Review: Two years on from the release of his critically acclaimed "Wallflower" album on Ninja Tune, Jordan Rakei returns with his most eagerly awaited set to date. Happily, it doesn't disappoint. Beginning with the electronic soul-pop brilliance of "Mad World", Rakei effortlessly flits between synth-laden hip-hop-soul ("Say Something"), slinky downtempo songs ("Mind's Eye"), 21st century disco-boogie anthems ("Rolling Into One"), slow-burn musical fusions (the military drums, Juju guitars and heartfelt vocals of "Oasis") and the kind of sumptuous, sun-kissed fare that defies easy categorization. With Rakei's sultry vocals taking centre stage throughout, "Origin" is a sparkling set that just gets better with every listen.
Review: Jordan Rakei's brilliant debut album, Cloak, made such an impact that the multi-talented New Zealander now finds himself signed to one of the world's most successful independent labels, Ninja Tune. The move into the big leagues seems to have inspired the multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer to up his game, because Wallflower is arguably even better than his debut. Rakei has taken a more widescreen approach, largely ditching the trusty MPC in favour of live drums, bass, guitars, pianos and, on a couple of stand-out cuts, what sounds like a string quartet. As a result, his usually woozy and sun-kissed songs sound even warmer and sunnier, with the Rakei's impeccable vocals coming gift-wrapped in classic musicality. In other words, it's a bit good.