Home > News & Reviews > Kelela

Kelela - Take Me Apart (Album Review)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 Written by Jacob Brookman

Kelela’s 2013 mixtape, ‘Cut 4 Me’, introduced her to audiences through a blend of sexy future R&B and nu-soul minimalism. Her first album, ‘Take Me Apart’, builds on those foundations with a selection of sultry, lo-fi electronica, recorded with producers from the worlds of pop and avant-garde: Arca to Ariel Rechtshaid and key collaborator, Jam City.

Highlights include the outwardly pop single LMK. It’s a ‘90s sci-fi track with a menacing, vaporous synth motif that is propelled forward through terse drum-loops and trap bass. Over the top we are offered a constellation of vocal layers that demonstrate Kelela’s talent for individual hook-writing and lyrical blend.

Similarly, Frontline is a fresh-sounding song with delicate vocal delivery and nimble, nuanced production. The lyrics (about a break-up) are front and centre, and while there is no shortage of passion here, Kelela stops short of bitterness.

“Couldn't take it back even though you wish I could," she sings. "If you think I'm going back, you misunderstood / Cry and talk about it, baby, but it ain't no use / See you wasn't lookin' when I pushed.”

The vocal phrasing on this album is probably its most distinctive element and on Frontline, little rat-a-tat-tat slurs find their way into otherwise smooth and laconic-sounding bars.

This is also the case on the album’s high point: Better. Here, a cute arrangement is married with soft synth chords, intimate lyrics and industrial flourishes. Like the majority of work by genre cousins NAO and FKA Twigs, Kelela’s work lives and dies on the edginess of its production. 'Take Me Apart' is very much alive.

Kelela Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon November 27 2017 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Tue November 28 2017 - LONDON Heaven
Wed November 29 2017 - LONDON Heaven

Click here to compare & buy Kelela Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

John Carpenter Announces Autumn UK Shows
Mon 16 Jul 2018
John Carpenter will bring his Anthology tour to London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester this October.
Jim James - Uniform Distortion (Album Review)
Thu 05 Jul 2018
Photo: Justin Tyler Close On Jim James’ third solo album, the My Morning Jacket bandleader has dispensed with indie psychedelia in favour of straightforward, gutsy rock tunes. The result is a record of tight musical elements, with a consistently radio-friendly sound, that falls flat when compared to more innovative releases by better rock songwriters.
Sons of Bill - Oh God Ma'am (Album Review)
Thu 12 Jul 2018
Almost everything you need to know about the remarkable transformation Virginia siblings Sons of Bill have undergone on ‘Oh God Ma’am’ can be gleaned from its album cover. An old-fashioned colour TV lies on the floor, smashed and surrounded by dirt, its shadow eclipsing the light. The screen shows a grinning, optimistic, all American kid, his image bisected by the shattered screen. The dream, as they say, is over.
Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods (Album Review)
Wed 11 Jul 2018
Not many Norwegian black metal bands can claim to be a legitimate part of popular culture. They’re not usually seen doing ‘What’s In My Bag?’ videos or hanging out with Post Malone. Instead, they’re in the forest. Being grim. Being evil.
There's Something About You: The Beths Strike Pop Gold on 'Future Me Hates Me'
Wed 18 Jul 2018
The Beths are learning Welsh. It’s a little after 10 at Le Pub in Newport, and the New Zealand indie-pop band are parroting back a few reliable words and phrases shouted from the crowd. They try cwtch and iechyd da on for size before Elizabeth Stokes draws a line under it. “We’re butchering this,” she says. “Let’s do a song.”
Bodega - Endless Scroll (Album Review)
Mon 16 Jul 2018
Bodega are the art school kids who might sneer at you for Instagramming a picture at their show. They’re the ones who, after a convincing “this isn’t satire”, order their audience to check their emails during the next song. Bodega roll out lines like “I touch myself while staring at your chat text box” and “I use my computer for everything, heaven knows I’m miserable now.” Their message: we are dominated by consumer culture and technology is taking over our lives.
Ovlov - Tru (Album Review)
Mon 23 Jul 2018
There are several ways for records to stand out. They might say something meaningful, or push the boundaries of a genre. Others are so good at purveying a particular mood and atmosphere that they don’t need to do much else. Ovlov’s second album, ‘TRU’, is one of those.
Gaz Coombes, Ghostpoet, Jane Weaver Among Acts Heading To Oxford's Ritual Union Festival
Fri 27 Jul 2018
Gaz Coombes, Ghostpoet and Nadine Shah are among the acts set to appear at Ritual Union festival in Oxford this autumn.
< Prev   Next >