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Oli Bayston--alias Boxed In--has something of a pop music Midas touch. He boasts a miles-long CV of production credits, ranging from keyboard work with Steve Mason to songwriting with Lily Allen. Now, his self-titled debut as Boxed In is set to make him an artist in his own right.

From the outset, the perimeters of Boxed In's sound are drawn out and Bayston's own ambitions are laid bare. 'Mystery' starts with a drumbeat--simple, steady--which is soon joined by an earworm of a plucky piano riff. Give it 30 seconds or so to hit the chorus and you'll be sold. This is electro-pop in the realm of LCD Soundsystem: all metronomic drums and driving keyboards culminating in a bold, memorable hook. Which isn't to say that Boxed In is formulaic, but Bayston has picked his palette carefully, and he knows what to splash where for maximum effect.

On 'Sailing', he takes the tempo down, delivering his vocals in a lo-fi drawl over a beat that can only be described as sexy. There's a muted melody carried across the song, but it's barely discernable as it hovers alongside Bayston's low-key synth swells.

As the album progresses, it becomes clear that Boxed In is a virtual collage of popular motifs in noughties electronic music. The Krautrock minimalism which has become a genre staple is ubiquitous here, but the level of its influence varies from track to track. 'Run Quicker' is a standard piano-rocker with the occasional computer-generated blip flaring at the surface, while 'No Joke' is totally propelled by electronic rhythms. The opening measures of 'Bug' are even reminiscent of Thom Yorke's solo endeavours, complete with a bit of wistful piano and languid vocals. Many of Bayston's musical phrases are so familiar that they're bound to induce déjà vu. We've heard pieces of Boxed In dotted across the last decade--Bayston has packaged some familiar themes in one succinct volume--but somehow the album doesn't seem derivative so much as innovative.

Naturally, there are bound to be one or two vibe-outliers unsettling a record as cohesive as this one. 'All Your Love is Gone' is a frenetic lament for a relationship-gone-sour complete with some liberally applied electric guitar riffs. Catchy as it is, it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album. Similarly, 'Foot Of The Hill' dabbles in the lo-fi rock idiom--as a standalone offering it's compelling, but as a part of the whole it isn't entirely convincing.

As far as debuts go, Boxed In practically oozes potential. Bayston is a master craftsman, and Boxed In is dangerously close to harnessing his full potential. As a producer and studio musician, Bayston has proved he's worth his salt (and then some). As a solo artist, he's definitely worth keeping an eye on. Undoubtedly, Boxed In is only the beginning.

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