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Review: 'Whalum, Kenneth'
'Broken Land 2'   

-  Label: 'Secretly Canadian'
-  Genre: 'Soul' -  Release Date: '16.7.21.'

Our Rating:
Broken Land 2 is Memphis born and raised musician Kenneth Whalum's second album as a front man rather than being the well-known saxophonist whose played with Jay-Z and Maxwell as well as Justin Timberlake and Beyonce among others.

The album opens with the low intro into Prayer and the quietly insistent vocal sermon style sample and then Kenneth's soulful vocals come in to make this sound like a 21st century militant soul song full of despair for our times and what he's lost as he prays things get better soon over the lush but rather subtle backing.

All I Need is quietly insistent with some lovely brass in the background as Kenneth tells us what he needs to feel, like he's living in a better world, as the brass adds jazzy lines inflected with pain and suffering.

Party has a high floaty vocal that's a bit like Anthony's early records as the rather restrained percussion drives this sad song in tribute to a lost friend as he tells us to get ourselves together and improve things.

Burn is a rather reflective and downbeat outpouring of pain with a beautiful sax line that floats in and out of the tune as the confessional nature of the song becomes clearer.

Make Sure keeps things slow and restrained and full of pain and feeling that's gently intoxicating. Weeping Eye is slowly driven by the bass drum sound and Kenneth's thoughtful vocals full of pain and emotion as he tries to make it through the night, like most of this album it sounds like it should be heard enough times so all the lyrics really seep in, so the message is properly heard.

Bombs has far more restraint than the USA ever has when it comes to letting off bombs, and this is a full-on emotional Bomb wrapped in strings and piano runs as he asks to be saved from the shrapnel life has inflicted on him.

The album closes with the spare reflection of Constellation a rumination with super sparse percussion this is very floaty and chilled out with little details seemingly deep in the mix as the full impact of the lyrics become apparent.

Find out more at https://kenneth-whalum.ffm.to/broken-land-2 https://www.facebook.com/kennethwhalum http://kennethwhalum.co/
  author: simonovitch

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