Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Keeping It Vague: Bloc Party Front Man Kele Okereke Came out of the Closet Last Year. but the Band's Latest Release Still Eschews Sexual Labels-And It Works

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Keeping It Vague: Bloc Party Front Man Kele Okereke Came out of the Closet Last Year. but the Band's Latest Release Still Eschews Sexual Labels-And It Works

Article excerpt

BLOC PARTY

Intimacy

ATLANTIC

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

IN AN ERA WHEN CELEBRITY gay weddings are respectfully splashed across the covers of supermarket tabloids, it may seem odd that an outspoken young rocker would still pussyfoot around his sexual orientation. Yet more than a year after he quietly came out in the London newspaper The Guardian, that's what Kele Okereke, lead singer of Bloc Party, is doing on the band's most recent release, Intimacy.

He has his reasons. Born to Nigerian parents and raised strictly Catholic, the forces that shaped Okereke into an opponent of racism and class warfare also inhibited him in going public about his sexual orientation earlier. More important, he said, he doesn't want to be marginalized. It's understandable that he'd take his cues from Morris sey, who has been playing coy about what he does and with whom since the Smiths, and that legacy of silence, shared by countless gay artists of his generation, still casts a long shadow over pop culture.

Early Bloc Party lyrics were vague, but on the 2007 sophomore set, A Weekend in the City, Okereke became more political and personal. The ardor in the song "I Still Remember," for instance, was shared between two schoolboys. Intimacy lives up to its title by detailing love in myriad forms--from bliss to boredom and breakup. …

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