Kelela – Take Me Apart
Take Me Apart may not appear as immediately interesting and unique as Kelela's previous work but there are layers upon layers of elements to be explored
The last thing you could accuse Kelela of is rushing. Her debut mixtape, 2013’s Cut 4 Me, was four years in the making and since then, the only other music she's released came in the form of 2015's six-track EP, Hallucinogen. As a result, debut album Take Me Apart feels very considered. Its tracks detail relationships old and new, exploring the vulnerability of opening yourself up entirely to another person, to moments of sexual liberation.
There is quite a distinct step away from the heavy, industrial beats that prevailed on her previous releases, despite many of the same producers working with her again here. Previous collaborators Arca, Jam City and Bok Bok, amongst others, all return and their presence can be heard throughout, but Take Me Apart is a much softer-sounding record.
There's an air of fragility across the album, stemming mainly from Kelela’s vocals and the openness of her lyrics. 'Will your love ruin my heart?' she sings on Enough, and on Turn to Dust she is completely bare, singing 'One look at you and I turn to dust.' In contrast, on LMK and Truth or Dare she shows an enduring strength and is entirely in control of her desires. S.O.S. sees Kelela in full thirst mode: the track’s sharp, slicing production lay the foundations for her seductive lyrics and exquisite vocal harmonies to shine.
The beauty of Kelela’s music is in its complexity. Take Me Apart may not appear as immediately interesting and unique as her previous work but there are layers upon layers of elements to be explored, digested and, ironically enough, taken apart.
Listen to: Waitin, S.O.S.