Kelela - Take Me Apart
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2017 Ratings: #85 / 898
Year End Rank: #11
User Score
Based on 682 ratings
2017 Ratings: #43
Liked by 22 people
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Nothing is as volcanic as "Bank Head" or as rush-inducing as "Rewind" -- two past gems -- but these hyperballads and zero-gravity jams always stimulate, covering a broader spectrum of emotional states with deeper resonance.

Whether it's the kiss-off on "Frontline," or the unabashed come-ons on "Truth or Dare," Take Me Apart is a subtle, sexy LP from a woman who knows what she wants, and clearly aims to write anthems for fans feeling the same way.

The 405
Greatness hasn't sounded this natural in this arena for some time.
Resident Advisor

Take Me Apart is well worth the wait. Working with a dream team of modern music makers—Arca, The xx's Romy Madley Croft, Kingdom and Ariel Rechtshaid—Kelela navigates from the abstract fringes of club music towards the pop center on her own terms.


On Take Me Apart, her first studio album, she takes the cerebral, corporeal world she’s built into the domain where it can historically live best: a new, outré, rhythmic pop galaxy that honors but outpaces its peers.

Spectrum Culture
Though technically Kelela’s full-length debut, the album feels like a next step, proof that her striking sound was no mere gimmick but instead the foundation for one of the most advanced, daring artists in contemporary pop.
Consequence of Sound

Take Me Apart is a multi-faceted sidewinder of a release that refines the aesthetics of Kelela’s previous projects and painstakingly marries them to exemplary result.

Loud and Quiet
This is an album that plays with pop music in the way the greats do.
The Skinny

Take Me Apart may not appear as immediately interesting and unique as Kelela's previous work but there are layers upon layers of elements to be explored.

Northern Transmissions
Sticking the landing, the album is a sweeping mix of pop, R&B and a lot of wonderful experimental writing and sound-crafting.
The Guardian

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.

‘Take Me Apart’ fully explains what the fuss is about. Aided by co-writers and producers including Björk/Kanye cohort Arca and Zayn collaborator Sam Dew, Kelela has crafted a cool and sensual album which feels cohesive without slipping into saminess.
Kelela has produced a debut that somehow manages to evoke megastar crooners from decades past, cyborgs from the future, and, unmistakably, the defining sounds of pop music’s present.
Much of ‘Take Me Apart’ takes the listener through familiar tropes - female autonomy, sexual awakening and despondent love - yet it strikes a different chord, the LP whizzing by with a breathless urgency mapped out by the stellar production of premier collaborators Arca and Jam City, who understand the delicate contours of Kelela’s voice.
The Needle Drop
Kelela's debut album is a great representation of how cutting edge the alternative R&B genre can be.
The Line of Best Fit

It’s this invitation into her most confidential thoughts that makes the album equal parts sensual as it is unflinchingly confident, and it’s the ability to inhabit so many subtleties of the emotional turmoil of relationships that makes Take Me Apart such a memorable album.

The Observer

Take Me Apart is a very spacious operation in which the 34-year-old ponders love, lust and hurt as soundbeds break down around her.

A.V. Club

There’s another EP in here that’s every bit as good as Hallucinogen, but as an album, Take Me Apart remains more proof of Kelela’s talent and still-unrealized potential.

Rolling Stone
Her debut full-length fuses together jagged textures, vaporous synths and her versatile voice into forward-thinking R&B animated by its restless innovation.
Crack Magazine

Take Me Apart isn’t always immediately gratifying, but in being loud in its vulnerability (and quietly radical for it), Kelela’s first album is a powerful addition to the feminist, futurist RnB canon.

As such, ‘Take Me Apart’ is awash with glacial synths, trap beats and bass-laden electronica that’s brought together under an R&B sheen. It’s also a record characterised by juxtapositions, mirroring the breakdown of relationships and hope for new ties that Kelela explores.
Tiny Mix Tapes

For the most part, Take Me Apart is sonically more akin to a soundtrack, one for neon-tinged late-night driving. Or for bedrooms with ceiling mirrors — those slippery reflections…

I'm not sure I'm ready to dive in once again after millions of listens, to this album which I found to be one of the best R&B albums in history. Kelela's sophomore album 'Take Me Apart' is incredibly cleaver, well produced, well written and has a set of rhythms that most artists wish they had. Personally is one of my favorite albums ever, I listen to it religiously every week, and it blows my fucking mind every single time just like it was in the first time.
The artwork is also so ... read more
There are albums whose production is breathtaking and it is one of the most outstanding examples. Gold album
This is my favorite album of all time. I could probably write volumes on what it means to me and the intricacies of each song. Perhaps I will one day. For now though, I just want everyone to know that this album is the pinnacle. The storytelling, the production, the VOCALS, the everything is perfect. Kelela knows exactly what she's doing. If for some reason this album hasn't dug its claws into you yet, turn all the lights off, press play, and let it move your body without you seeing it. The ... read more
With the rise of some of today's hottest artists including Frank Ocean and Solange, one of the music scene's top buzz words is "alternative R&B". Over the last ten years, one of mainstream music's older genres has developed into a myriad of subgenres, and the result is some spectacular albums that sound worlds apart from the smooth but segregated R&B of past decades. The reality is, nobody really knows what alt-R&B means, but when the term is used, Kelela is inevitably ... read more
Originally rated this an 86 but it just keeps getting better with every listen. The production is outstanding and kelela possesses some catchy songwriting abilities, frontline and Altadena may just be my favourite opener and closer of any rnb album I've heard yet. Crazy to think this was her debut album, really excited to hear what she does next
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Added on: August 1, 2017