Take Me Apart is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Kelela. It was released on October 6, 2017, through Warp Records.
Development and production
Kelela worked on Take Me Apart for four years, alongside Arca and Jam City, whom she had previously worked with on Hallucinogen and Cut 4 Me respectively. She stated that they "anchored" the album and produced the bulk of it. On February 18, 2016, Kelela featured on a short film by Dazed named "Interlude", which contained new material that would later turn out to be snippets of tracks included in the album. In a press release, Kelela explained that the album expresses "an honest vision of how we navigate dissolving ties with each other and yet remain sanguine for the next chance at love," continuing: "despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the 'burbs listening to R&B, jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another."
The music of Take Me Apart was described as electro-R&B and alternative R&B, with several critics noting its incorporation of various other musical styles, including electronica, jazz, soul, UK garage and dance-pop. The Guardian described the album as "glitchy R&B", while also stating that the album offers "tracks that are both pop-minded and gratifyingly future-facing." Clash labeled it as "cavernous, avant-garde R&B that moves the body and heals the broken heart." Fact called the album "a genre-melding journey," and said it has "a subtle, playful Afro-futurist vision." DIY noted the usage of "glacial synths" and "trap beats," in oppose to Consequence of Sound who commended the producers for "their refusal to use trap as a crutch." The Skinny added that the album differs from the "heavy, industrial beats" from Kelela's previous releases, despite many of the same producers appearing on this album. The album was also said to evoke the music of Janet Jackson and Björk. Lyrically, the album deals with various themes, such as love, romance, sex, impatience, vulnerability, the rewards and pitfalls of relationships, and "the complicated things that can happen when complicated people try to understand each other."
Release and promotion
The title of the album was announced on July 14, 2017. The cover art was revealed two weeks later, with the album being made available for pre-order the following day alongside the release of "LMK". A tour in support of the album was announced later that month. It kicked off in September and includes dates in North America and Europe, as well as three dates in Australia with the xx and Earl Sweatshirt in January 2018.
On October 27, 2017, Kelela shared a trailer of an upcoming film in support of the album titled "All It Took", directed and produced by Wu Tsang.
The lead single, "LMK", was released on August 1, alongside the pre-order of the album. The song premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show.
"Frontline" was premiered on September 4 on the HBO series Insecure, and was later released for digital download and streaming services as the album's second single. The Fader said that in the song Kelela is "leaving behind someone who was holding her back, and she's not looking to apologize. It's not a cold track, though, but one about how certain significant decisions can be made easier with a strong knowledge of self-worth."
"Waitin" was released as the third single on October 3, and "Blue Light" was released the following day as the fourth single. A music video for the song was released on November 7.
hen Washington-born singer Kelela released her first mixtape, Cut 4 Me, in 2013, her fusion of sumptuous R&B vocals and harsh, avant garde electronica made a splash. But in the four years since, alternative R&B has gone from bleeding edge to genre du jour: in a class now crowded with thoroughly modern divas, has anyone has been saving Kelela a seat? As her debut album opens, the idea that the singer may have been left behind by the sound she helped establish doesn’t seem outlandish: Frontline is funky but plodding and retro in its staccato style. Thankfully, Take Me Apart soon proffers tracks that are both pop-minded and gratifyingly future-facing. Producer Arca may be her not-so-secret weapon in the latter regard, creating sublime but techy sonic hellscapes among the ambient synths and skittering beats.
Meanwhile, Kelela’s vocal stops Take Me Apart ending up as a fragmented series of sounds: consistently exquisite as it dances between lovesick confusion and shrewd sensuality.
SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/oct/05/kelela-take-me-apart-review-future-facing-glitchy-rb-with-traction User Comments