Kelela: “Take Me Apart” Album Review

Written By: Brandon Basile 

Instagram: @RestlessSoul13 Twitter: @RestlessSol13 Blog: brandonbasile.wordpress.com

When Moonlight Sexed Midnight With Aggression

Originality: (5.0 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (4.0 / 5)
Lyrics: (5.0 / 5)
Production: (5.0 / 5)
Average: (4.8 / 5)

Electronic R&B is something like, similar to possibly being, #TheWave in popular music nowadays. I say it with so much conditionality because we can never truly define what #TheWave is. We can’t. It is truly impossible because #TheWave is undefinable by definition. And that is just how things work. And we know this. These are facts. Another fact is: The people always want something sexy to dance to. And another fact is: If music is drugs then Kelela is pushing (some of) the most exotic

This American singer/songwriter has been in our ears since her debut mixtape Cut 4 Me garnered acclaim on many Best of lists in 2013 and has finally graced us with a  debut EP. Be quiet and imagine a daughter of Sade singing in New York’s hottest trancing club (Yes “trancing club”). The glitz, the glamour, and most importantly the sweat. And you’ll be mad that you hadn’t heard this music before for yourself because Kelela is something to experience.

Tagged by modern generics as electro-R&B or Alternative R&B, her music is symbolically representative of modern american night life in that it is reflective of many cultures and genres such jazz, soul, and EDM.  In vocal tone, Kelela could be said to sound akin to Solange, FKA Twigs or AlunaGeorge.  She uses some of modern R&B’s glitchy sounds on to create some rhythmic inflections, but does more with vocal harmonies and converging and diverging rhythms to not lean too heavily on technology.  Take Me Apart is a deeper dive into the songstress’ world of warm vibes and incessant sensuality, but be sure to bring your dancing shoes! If anything at all.

Forget what you heard. The four singles that have been released from this album do not do it justice. The first single “LMK” is a deliciously sexy invitation to a fun time saying “it aint too deep either way / No one’s trying to settle down all you gotta do is / Let me know”.

“LMK” dope with how it feels like a turnt up 90s R&B jam and all, but the real fun of the album comes when Kelela builds intensity on seriously sensual cuts like  “S.O.S.”, “Onanon”, and “Turn To Dust”. If you don’t feel tingles from the sounds and seductively suggestive lyricism of “S.O.S.” then we can be sure that you have been the problem in all of your relationships. Kelela croons :

I’m feeling a little pressure only you can help me out

I was trying to make it easy now you’re finger’s in my mouth

So I lay in wait

I don’t take it lightly

I know you’re far away

But I need it nightly.

At only 2 minutes and 22 seconds “S.O.S.” is simply a teaser, but the sensuality builds from assertiveness to passionate aggression with the sexually upbeat “Onanon”, which means what it sounds like it means.  Those 2 songs including “Turn To Dust” are the trifecta of what sex and it’s synonyms should be like. 

We can’t want to have sex with, I mean to, this album! *Closes door and contemplates how “Waiting” is actually a romantic dance song. And then SZA plays through the artist radio.*