The Boxer


Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. The Boxer is loose-limbed, electronic yet human and, most importantly, full of the experimentation and genre-blending Okereke always claimed to love.
  2. How I Got Over finds the Roots acting as elder statesmen in hip-hop, but its mix of nifty experiments and straightforward rap eliminates any sense of predictability.
  3. All in all, this is a persuasive solo debut, confident, innovative and brimming with hooks.
  4. Mojo
    Okereke once again pushing the boundaries of what British indie can be. [July 2010, p. 96]
  5. Alternative Press
    Vocally, Okerele is in top form, making a put-down sound like a prayer or a military march feel like a pride anthem. Bring your glowsticks--and your heart. [Jul 2010, p.126
  6. Hi-NRG rhythms and sweet syncopated beats propel themselves skywards.
  7. While a few songs aren't quite as dynamic as the rest, this album proves that Kele has more than enough ideas and identity for a solo career.
  8. Okereke has said that he's finally found his sweet spot with The Boxer, which will give Bloc Party fans pause; it's a good album and all, but it shouldn't be mistaken for anything more than an adventurous side project.
  9. While the adventurous Boxer pares off Bloc Party's ponderous streak, it leaves room for Kele's hopeless romanticism, and the end result hits in all the right places--head, hips and heart alike.
  10. His earnestness shines through, and in shaking off his rock baggage, he's made the best kind of electro album: the sort that can be appreciated just as much from the couch as the club.
  11. 70
    Bloc Party fans won't be shocked or dismayed, though: Boxer just ratchets up the electronic vibe of 2008's Intimacy, stretching even further sonically while maintaining Okereke's earthy, hyperpersonal songwriting.
  12. This is a record that has the dancefloor firmly locked with its sights.
  13. It's a convergence that really works though, with Kele mixing the adventurous side electronic music enables him to embrace with the conservatism borne of years in a guitar band. A really solid debut.
  14. Q Magazine
    The Boxer really just makes him the latest in a series of open-minded indie frontmen using solo projects to extend their musical idiom. [July 2010, p. 138]
  15. Artiness trumps hip-shaking soul on too many cuts – although the gentle croon and gurgling synths of nondanceable songs like "All the Things I Could Never Say" make for nice dinner music.
  16. 58
    Though there are some exceptional moments here, The Boxer mostly feels like a self-indulgent release; like Kele needed to get this out of his system before he gets back to his day job.
  17. In place of huge choruses and bombast, Kele offers an album heavy on tone, mood, and texture. Unfortunately, his efforts fail to make you forget the absence of things like hooks.
  18. The Boxer is a thicker, heavier, version of the sort of music DFA were putting out almost 10 years ago.
  19. Having an instrument-swaparound is not virtuous in itself, and a great deal of The Boxer sounds reactionary to the point of irreverence. He seems so obsessed with the idea of crafting himself a neat PR image that he's forgot to bring along any sense of genuine, fresh creativity.
  20. In reality, The Boxer is Intimacy revisited: A blunted, bored, watered-down retread, and the work of an artist whose unique voice can't flourish without dissimilar, energetic counterparts.

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