No longer just the singer from Bloc Party, Kele Okereke has struck out on his own. With his band on indefinite hiatus, Kele hung up his guitars, bought himself an apartment and signed up for kickboxing classes-sounds like a scene from Trainspotting, except for the last part. But it wasn’t long until he found himself back in the studio experimenting with various synths and drum machines. The Boxer is that album that Kele always wanted to make and it sounds the part: youthful, unafraid and totally off the wall. How else would you explain ‘Walk Tall’, the opener that bangs so hard it sounds like a mad party next door where everyone’s a member of some doomsday cult (and today is their big day).
‘On The Lam’ and ‘Tenderoni’ continue with an electro assault that would probably be on the LapSap remix hit list. Bloc Party-ish dissonant guitars make a comeback on the track ‘On The Other Side’ over tacky, 80s processed drumbeats and Caribbean percussions. But as a songwriter at heart, Kele’s words resonate with the music, especially on the one-note piano introspective ‘Everything You Wanted’. The Boxer is a good, fresh take on leftfield dance music that picks up where Bloc Party’s Intimacy left off and it goes to show you can still have one hell of a party alone.
LISTEN TO: ‘Tenderoni’
GROOVY? CHECK THIS OUT THEN: Darwin Deez, We Have Band, Delphic, The Chemical Brothers.
RATING: 3 1/2
Move your meat to the beat at www.myspace.com/iamkele.
Here’s the video for Kele’s 1st single ‘Everything You Wanted’. There’s nothing quite like rockstars who cry and stare into the cameras at the end… Makes us wanna chop onions.