Esser - Braveface (3 stars)

Esser - Braveface



Chiselled electro-pop boxer Ben Esser runs the risk of being eclipsed by his quiff, but on the evidence of Braveface, the swaggering Essex techno-dude may yet outshine his sleek coiffure.

Addled with a fire-crack amalgam of digital slacker-rock (‘Headlock’), shambling electro beats (‘Work It Out’) and silent-era piano brouhahas (‘Satisfied’), Esser’s humdrum cockney monologues are naive and allegorical in equal measure: he veers between Damon Albarn, Ian Dury, Mike Skinner and Lily Allen. ‘I Love You’, meanwhile, is oddly reminiscent of White Town’s chart-topping albatross, ‘Your Woman’, but – like several cuts on this debut – it’s a vintage, groove-strewn gem.

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