The Boxer

Studio Album by released in 2010
The Boxer's tracklist:
Walk Tall
On The Lam
The Other Side
Everything You Wanted
New Rules
Unholy Thoughts
All The Things I Could Never Say
Yesterday's Gone

The Boxer review

Kele’s confident solo debut

Kele Okereke, the front man of the English band Bloc Party releases his debut solo album The Boxer. The 28 year old musician performs under the name Kele and mixes boldly the electronic music and pop rock tendencies. On Bloc Party’s last album Intimacy (2008) it was notable that the guys adopted more and more electronic effects on their songs, and judging by all Kele has decided to develop those ideas. Last October the band announced a hiatus – there was some misunderstanding inside the team, though not that serious as to threaten its continuation. Nevertheless the event moved the band’s front man to go to studio by himself and get acquainted with drum-machine. Producers Hudson Mohawk and Alex Epton, also known as XXXChange have worked together with Kele on the record The Boxer. It is no secret that Bloc Party’s songs have been a success both because of the tunes and instrumentation and the lyrics. The latter prove to be the strong side of The Boxer as well – Kele has found a harmony of cynicism and emotions and made it the base of his confident debut.

Experimental electronic flavor of The Boxer

The relatively short record The Boxer – 10 tracks, a bit longer than forty minutes – can be hardly listened to at a breath for it is very many-faceted and rich in various nuances and interesting dodges. The songs’ experimental electronic flavor and the high quality of the arrangements add a special luster to the album. It opens with an almost marching composition Walk Tall built on clapping and distorted guitars, and the following track On The Lam conquers with cosmic electronic sounds and a woman’s sighing in the background. The first single Tenderoni is one of the album’s highlights, practically a danceable number with vocals passing from whispering to falsetto. Another worthy moment is Everything You Wanted with a splendid complicated tune, many-layered percussion and very contagious chorus. The voice of telephone operator serves as a sample on the song New Rules whereas on rock guitars and a very thoroughly thought out text stand out on Unholy Thoughts. Kele’s vocals on Rise amaze with the width of range and are underlined by female vocals, on the whole this experimental danceable composition reminds of Bjork’s brightest works. The longest song All The Things I Could Never Say conquers with its melancholic chorus and many-layered drums, and the record closer is a melodious psychedelic number Yesterday's Gone.

The beginning of a very successful solo career

A talented author and musician, Kele also possesses a very strong and determined character, but he is quite a modest person at the same time. He is very protective about his privacy and dislikes when the media exploit the facts of celebrities’ personal life for their pragmatic purposes. This firmness is reflected in his compositions on The Boxer to some extent. It is hard to say whether Bloc Party are going to release any new material in the nearest future but it looks like Kele’s solo career is something he is really in for. The production and electronic arrangements cannot be equaled to the band’s playing but Kele’s vocals and lyrics take most of the attention in both cases so it is hard that he stops on The Boxer as a solo artist. Anyway the album is varied, really contagious at moments and inventive throughout, so the listeners are sure not to be bored by it. One can hear different shades of Kele’s rich voice on these tracks and agree that this artist knows what he is capable of and we may well be witnessing the beginning of a very successful solo career.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (14.07.2010)
Rate review3.66
Total votes - 3

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