Kele - '2042'

7/10

Since he first started working outside of his formative outfit Bloc Party, frontman Kele Okereke has always been a chameleon of ever-changing aesthetics. While his debut solo release 'The Boxer' in 2010 saw him explore the world of progressive electronica, something Bloc Party were also gearing towards at the time, he then surprised us all in 2017 when his third studio release 'Fatherland' was an almost entirely acoustic affair. Now known simply as Kele once again, he delivers his fourth full-length '2042', a collection that feels far more like the post-modern indie-rock act we all knew he would become.

From the very start, it is clear that '2042' is completely separate from anything we have heard from him as a solo artist so far. Returning more to the abstract and diverse approach that Bloc Party showcased on their third album 'Intimacy', this new collection is a dark and brooding affair that sees him fully embrace his new direction. Filled with grizzled guitars and a brooding atmosphere, the new album sees him tackle topics such as race and class in a dark and pulsing manner, something we have heard from him before but not since the early days of Bloc Party.

It is easy to hear from the opening track 'Jungle Bunny' that this is going to be a hugely nostalgic trip for any longtime Bloc Party fans. '2042' is less of a solo work and more of a continuation of the sound he developed at the start of his career, making for a familiar and enjoyable collection that sees him far from low on ideas.

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