It wasn’t exactly a triumph the first time Bloc Party’s frontman strutted into view with a solo offering in tow. Like a contemporary splatter flick, ‘The Boxer’ lacked substance – Kele’s moxie and penchant for prosthetic sounds met head on and the result was something as brashly inane as ‘Tenderoni’. Spelling out the title within the song is never the one. Fortunately, he’s exhaled and full-length follow up ‘Trick’ feels contemplative, soulful and more significant as a result.

Plundering the same RnB goldmine as Deptford Goth and Kindness, this is emotive bedroom music, albeit if Kele’s place of kip was the back seat of a Bow-bound night bus. The air is almost Burial-esque in parts here, a moody salute to the sullied crevices of England’s capital with a more commercial twist (see ‘Coasting’). It’s a stall he sets out early on with ‘First Impressions’, an indication of the steady grooves and subtle hooks to come – the kind that best befit the dead of night, amongst the faint sound of engines and the sporadic electric glow of the city. There are also a few nods to his day job too, in ‘Closer’ and ‘Stay The Night’, the latter of which bleeds the kind of opinion-splitting earnestness that will have the band’s yeasayers swooning and their critics wincing.

Nonetheless, ‘Trick’ is a spellbinding retort; one that suggests that the announcement of his next solo output will be worthy of more than a sigh and a shrug.


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