I first heard of Kelela on Solange’s classic, Grammy Award winning “A Seat At The Table“. A year later, Kelela dropped her debut album “Take Me Apart”, a classic in its own right. I was not familiar with her sound or lyrics before my first listen, but I unexpectedly fell in love.
First, let’s discuss how almost every album I love is released towards the end of the year, what’s known in the music industry as the fourth quarter. A time when most people have holidays off from work and have free time to pay attention and listen to newly released albums. Also, a great marketing strategy to gain consumer’s disposable income while holiday shopping. Think about some of your favorite albums in the last 10 or so years then Google their release dates. I bet you 9 times out of 10, they were released in the fourth quarter.
“Take Me Apart” was released in October of 2017. Admittedly, I was apprehensive about listening because I didn’t know anything about Kelela or her music, but I constantly saw advertising for the album on social media (mostly via Saint Heron). I finally gave in and was consumed with a passion to learn more. I became obsessed with the album and Kelela.
“Take Me Apart” is a cinematic, chronological, cohesive, well-put-together work of art. It is the perfect description of the end of a relationship cycle and the beginning of another.
- Frontline – With a very upbeat typo, this song depicts when you’ve had enough and finally leave, but out of nonsensical anger. Easily a club banger.
- Waitin – After some time has passed, you see your ex out and you immediately get a rush of feelings. The pain of missing them overrides the pain they caused to make you leave.
- Take Me Apart – The title track is very sensual. You’ve finally got your baby back, but instead of addressing the issues you’ve had, you’re caught up in the passion that’s between you. Rivers are flowing all night…
- Enough – As we all know, sex is not enough to sustain a relationship. Once the excitement and passion has died down, you’re left realizing that they haven’t changed and you’ve really reached your breaking point.
- Jupiter – Let the raindrops wash your tears away with this track. An interlude that gives you space to grieve the loss of a lover.
- Better – The closure we all seek, but sometimes don’t receive. Realizing that you’re just better off as friends.
- LMK – Losing a lover is painful, but a woman still has needs. Seeking new lovers for the night. No strings attached please.
- Truth Or Dare – One of my favorites. Playful sex with a new lover. Learning bodies and fulfilling fantasies.
- S.O.S. – The lover from Truth Or Dare is here to stay. Now you crave them. Wanting slower, more meaningful sex with them. Passion is building. A connection is forming.
- Blue Light – My second favorite. You’re jaded from your last heartbreak. You told yourself you’d give yourself time before you got in another relationship, but you really like them. You’re falling in love.
- Onanon – New relationship, but old insecurities. Let the petty arguments begin.
- Turn To Dust – The petty arguments are becoming too much. You want to leave, but love is there. One look at them and you…
- Bluff – MY FAVORITE! Kelela writes from the new lover’s perspective. New bae understands you’ve been through a lot in the past but they aren’t like the others like you think. They are gonna prove you wrong. The “scariness” of this track’s beat ties in perfectly with the scariness of completely trusting someone with your heart.
- Altadena – The only track on the album that doesn’t tie into the theme, but still a necessary message. There is nothing you need to say or do to prove you are worthy of what you deserve. A message I have to, unfortunately, remind myself constantly.
I appreciate the hard work it must have taken to put together such a great album. An album I love completely, not piece by piece. The Recording Academy shouldn’t sleep on “Take Me Apart” for 2019’s Grammy Awards. Congrats to Kelela. I’m anticipating hearing more.