To the more switched-on Bloc Party fan, ‘Flux’ and ‘Mercury’ were cast-iron clues that Kele Okereke’s head was in a different place to his band-mates’. Eight months from confirming their hiatus, ‘The Boxer’ is the itch Mr Complicated has been dying to scratch. In flushes it’s still the same Kele: still cynical, still hypocritical, still a brilliantly moody pop star underneath it all. Yet, physically and musically, he’s more pumped and primed. His new direction is just as muscular as the biceps he shows off in his new press shots. ‘Tenderoni’ is a Wiley ‘Wearing My Rolex’-sized dose of sweaty compressed deviance; ‘The Lam’, an androgynous, pulsing stab of UK garage. ‘Backenders Other Side’ and ‘Unholy Thought’ then see Okereke pick up the guitar again but add a dance twist. Above all the Londoner sounds like he’s having leash-free fun. The kind of fun Gordon Moakes just can’t supply.

By Omarrr

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