Wednesday, 30 June 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kele, The Boxer

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke adopted a more dance-oriented sound on his debut solo album, The Boxer. He explained recently in an NME interview “I've been into clubbing for years. I've said from the beginning I'm into dance, it gets me excited and I think this record is going to go some way to prove that to people."

With his recent guest turns on tracks by The Chemical Brothers and DJ Tiesto, It may be safe to assume that this is the album Okereke’s always wanted to make; the electronic influence is evident on The Boxer from the outset.

The opening track, Walk Tall, is a military cadence-style vocal given a hardcore throbbing synth and hand-clap drums to hide behind. On the Lam, nudges the boundaries a little more with garage beats, pulsating synths and dirty bass accompanying the high pitched vocals of Okereke.

Lead single, Tenderoni, is a slamming, melodic electronica track driven by aggressive beats and brooding body-rocking synths. Everything You Wanted marks a notable change of sound; the bleeps are a little more restrained resulting in one of the least intense electronica tracks on the album.

The Boxer is not wall-to-wall mechanical beats oscillating sequencers and Auto-Tune voices. The New Rules with its tight strings is a surprisingly dainty duet with songstress Jodie Scantlebury, which provides a delicate audio intermission between the heavy synths of the rest of the album.

All things considered, this is a persuasive solo debut, confident and innovative, a record that is ultimately an emotional mass of synth hooks that’ll go down in the world of electronic dance with ease.


1. Walk Tall
2. On The Lam
3. Tenderoni
4. The Other Side
5. Everything You Wanted
6. New Rules
7. Unholy Thoughts
8. Rise
9. All The Things I Could Never Say
10. Yesterday's Gone

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