Crappy photo of the album cover by G.
I am largely unfamiliar with Bloc Party’s music, but when I heard that lead singer Kele would be making a dance album, you know I snatched up a ticket for his upcoming August show in New York. I was really planning on hearing the album in full for the first time when I saw him live, but curiosity got the best of me when I was given a review copy of his debut solo album “The Boxer.”
See my brief track by track comments, after the jump.
1. Walk Tall – The album begins on an up note with a hand-clap beat and the army chant “I don’t know what you’ve been told.” It’s dub-step heaven. There are some falsetto background vocals on the chorus mixed with some groovy beats that sound a bit like a lawn mower, but so far, so pleased!
2. On the Lam – Kele’s voice is manipulated so it sounds like a female is singing. The song is fast and by the time the chorus kicks in, you’ll definitely want to create your own dance floor so you can get your groove on.
3. Tenderoni – The first single. This song has been around on the net for a few months now, but as I’ve mentioned before, I am only hearing it for the first time as I write this review. It’s another upbeat electronica track and if this doesn’t become a club hit, I think I’ll stop going out. We’ve found the tenderoni and the roni is so right!
4. The Other Side – Kele slows the beat down with this track and while it’s not bad, he’s derailed his chances for a perfect album, according2g. The song still has killer synths, but it’s not one of my favorites.
5. Everything You Wanted – Another sparse track that takes a turn from the banging beats of the first three tracks. I am liking Kele’s persuasive vocals as he sings “I could have given you everything you wanted / everything you needed!” If this song gets the remix treatment, it will get more airplay for me.
6. The New Rules – This sounds like an audio intermission as there are hardly any instruments in the track and it’s very mellow. It’s a duet with Jodie Scantelberry. I can visualize this song being played in a movie during a contemplative montage.
7. Unholy Thoughts – The upbeat electronica of the earlier part of the album is back! This song sounds like a long-lost New Order outtake. It’s pretty short, clocking in at just under 3 minutes.
8. Rise – The song starts out pretty subdued, but comes alive by the chorus. I love the chorus that repeats “You are stronger than you think.”
9. All the Things I Could Never Say – A down-tempo trance number that features the cool lyric: “You’re making me ill. You’re making me older. You’re making me ill.” I like it!
10.Yesterday’s Gone – The album closes on a more upbeat note and he invites you to “let the sunlight kiss your face.” Done!
I really like this album a lot, and while there are a few tracks I am not crazy about, as a whole it’s a 42 and a half minute groovy adventure. Hearing this album is making me really excited to see Kele live and on that day, a review and images will be seen here! Stay tuned. “The Boxer” is out on June 22, 2010. Let us know what you think. I’m especially curious to hear from Bloc Party fans as this album has sparked an interest for me to check out their catalog.