If you were looking for jigsaw pieces to put together an album like Take Me Apart, then smooth R&B, minimal electronica and personal lyrics would be some of the ones to look for. A debut album is always an exciting prospect for an artist, but this release is much more polished than a first effort has any right to be. On Take Me Apart, we see Kelela sitting comfortably on a throne above her peers.
Opening track ‘Frontline’ unveils the story of an on/off relationship with a dwindling old flame. “If you think I’m going back, you misunderstood,” Kelela sings over a slick bass. This is all about taking control, and not looking back. ‘Frontline’ transitions into ‘Waitin,’ a dark electro cut and a night-time essential.
A highlight of the album is ‘Blue Light,’ where Kelela embraces a new range of vocals and shows herself ready to open up to love again. Her confidence in playing around with bold production shines through. The haunting tone of “falling” in between verses holds a sensual vibe and makes for desirable listening. Similar praise can be awarded to ‘Onanon,’ where Kelela gives a nod to late ‘90s/early 2000s hip-hop with a touch of gentle vocals.
The album begins to wind down on ‘Bluff,’ a track scarcely a minute in length that showcases Kelela’s most endearing side. “All that you need is just a bit of this love,” she assures her partner over prominent piano. These feelings of honesty and healing ensure a moving close to Take Me Apart.
In a nutshell: Take Me Apart is the perfect tale of love and loss that gets better with each listen.