Aptly starting with First Impressions, Kele immediately declares the direction of his second solo album. The intro track is a smooth, well-produced deep house track, probably one of the most commercial sounding things he’s done, with its slick female vocal and funky beat.
Whereas 2010’s The Boxer saw Kele explore more of an electro indie vibe, with varying success, he’s making a more defined, consistent step into dance music here. Having gotten all his rock out on the last Bloc Party album, this is Kele in the club, and his vocal and songwriting style really do suit the moody, atmospheric electronics; and he seems more comfortable with it now.
Coasting features a Burial-style glitchy beat underneath Kele’s gorgeous falsetto singing, ‘Yeah I like it, Yeah I’m into you’. My Hotel Room continues the personal, storytelling theme with late night tales of hookups, relationships and breakups that he sings about with the passion of personal experience. Doubt is a big, club-ready single with throbbing sub-bass and a stomping house beat, while he references Moderat’s Bad Kingdom on Like We Used To with the lyric, ‘This is not what you wanted’, and Stay The Night is a beautiful slice of melancholic, melodic Okereke songwriting, with its impassioned chorus, it could quite easily slip on at the end of a Bloc Party album.
There’s a few missteps, but there are some solid tracks on this second solo outing from Kele, and demonstrates he is still one of the more talented songwriters going around, with no fear of experimenting with different styles.