CD Reviews

James Kennedy - 'Home' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 03, 2017    
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Kennedy's vocals, playing and writing won me over completely.

Sometimes you get something to review and although you shouldn't make an assumption before you've heard it, you can't help it. When I was sent the stream for the new album by James Kennedy, front-man for Alternative Rock band Kyshera, the very label "Alternative Rock" made me go "urrrgh". Then I see a quote from Radio 1 (of all outlets) stating "Keep an eye out for Kennedy, he's going places". Radio 1? Urrrgh. The third and final strike was the PR blurb stating after a Kyshera tour with The Stereophonics, Kennedy fell into a deep depression and has written an album about it. Well, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this...

And that was my first mistake, because I have to review it and I'm immediately going in with an attitude, something I strenuously try and avoid. Despite fearing the worst, it's to Kennedy's credit the breezy Indie Rock of 'Meanings Of Life' is actually a rather pleasant start to proceedings, with the layered vocals and shimmering guitars helping to strip away some of my reluctance. This set me up for the truly superb 'Unconditional' which shows Kennedy to be a strong singer with the ability to write a real ear-worm of a chorus, one which saw me repeat this track the second it finished. 'Hometown' manages to Rock along nicely, while 'Keeping On' enjoys a contemporary Pop Rock vibe. The excellent ballad 'Just A Man' is another highlight while 'Entertainer' explores what life is like in a touring band.

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'Reckless' sees Kennedy at his most Rocking, with a great riff, distorted vocals and throbbing bass, whereas 'Misfits' shows his ability as a song-writer with its stark acoustic arrangement. 'Forbidden' utilises some electronic sequences for an ambient feel before the album closes with the gentle 'Home'.

Despite my (unfair) initial reservations, Kennedy's vocals, playing and writing won me over completely. It won't suit all of our readers, but for those who like things a bit more up to date, Indie-infused and breezy, you should give this a impressive album a listen. Depression isn't something I'd wish on anyone, but dealing with it has done wonders for James Kennedy.

James Gaden

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