Review: Kelela's "Take Me Apart"

Words by Henry Anthony-Duscheid


The power of Kelela’s voice is her ability to do more with less makes her take on club or R&B slow jams provocative and sensual. The album, Take Me Apart is an ode to break up-hook up tropes while allowing for introspective evaluations of the costs. She has definitely invested herself in these relationships so ending them is not taken lightly, which you can clearly hear on the first song Frontline. The song brings up how realizing you are better off moving past someone who can’t make you want to stay. Not a trivial decision in any regard, but if you don’t understand her perception, Kelela doesn’t give a shit, “See you wasn’t lookin’ when I pushed / Hold away, you fucking with my groove.”

When reading up about her, Kelela has carved out a very worthy career. Kelela got her start in 2013 with CUT 4 ME, earning a top ten spot from the guardian’s albums of the year as well as featuring on Scales by Solange and a spot on Gorillaz new project Humanz. The albums production was done primarily by Kingdom a co-creator of LA label Fade to Mind of which Kelela is apart. Additionally, production was done by London’s Night Slugs who helped create CUT 4 ME when they launched as a label in 2013 after years of underground club traction.

This album has a lot of range, but “LMK” holds my attention with warm synths as the landscape for rolling hi-hats and evocative risers and claps. Another favorite of mine that roll under the radar is “Onanon” that takes on a rolling UK minimal beat. Lastly, the two shortest songs, “Bluff” and “Jupiter” have a lot of heart in terms of the explicit messaging that Kelela has throughout the album on autonomy and handling relationships.