As a new artist, you want to be entering the playing field with something special. Something that separates you from the norm and makes you unique. A lot of R&B artists tend to have that problem, sticking to the norm and not really standing out. Kelela's debut Take Me Apart doesn't break any boundaries, falling into that trap and not really sounding very interesting.
As with any R&B record, its sound is established almost immediately. 'Frontline' introduces the album with a sweet and smooth sound, Kelela not really taking many pauses and just rolling through the track to the very end. It's modest beat sort of falls into the background. And from there, it's a 50 minute run of the same thing over and over again. Halfway through the album, right around 'LMK,' you'll begin wondering if and when the album will actually pick up and offer something noteworthy.
Sadly, that moment never really comes. There's a few hopeful moments, like the vocoders in 'Blue Light' and 'Onanon,' but there's really nothing that stands out enough to make a song go that extra meter. In fact, essentially the opposite happens. In an album that never bothers to change course, Kelela makes it even more stale with the minute-long 'Bluff,' which is essentially just her repeating one line for a minute. It feels like a waste, and thankfully 'Altadena' at least ends the album on a nice note. There's just nothing on this record that jumps out and grabs you, with all the messages, sounds, and style having been beaten to death countless times before this album came about.
Kelela's debut Take Me Apart doesn't break any boundaries and really just sounds stale. R&B is a genre that really needs a new voice in it with a special sound. Kelela sadly isn't that prophet. Take Me Apart is just another album that'll fade into the sea of other R&B attempts that all sound the same.
Favorite Track: Onanon
Least Favorite Track: Bluff
Rating: 60 / 100
Stream or buy Take Me Apart on Apple Music: