Let's just hope he can develop himself further in future...
Nick Street 2007-11-23
Kevin Michael is a young American singer/songwriter and has delivered his new album in conjunction with Downtown Records and Atlantic Recordings. According to the press release, in his early days Michael recalls at the age of sixteen 'waking up in the studio and something literally clicked in my head! I really heard it'. Well, good for him... Let's see if he really does, though.
This self-titled album is heavily influenced by funk, soul, r 'n' b and pop. The three opening tracks feature guest appearances by Lupe Fiasco, Wyclef Jean and Short Da Kid so you'd expect to hear something pretty special. However, while listening you find yourself reliving a Saturday night on the town with this type of thing being blasted from a trendy bar. Moving onto the next three tracks, you certainly get your head nodding with funky b-lines, tight drums, cool flowing vocals and foot-tapping melodies. You would probably hear these being played by Trevor Nelson.
Listening to the rest of the album the only tracks that stand out are ''Stone Cold Killa'' and ''Too Blessed'' featuring Q-Tip. These two numbers are very strong and wouldn't sound out of place in the Funkbase Room at the legendary Southport Weekender. The others tend to be very middle of the road; in other words, something that you may have heard before in a similar vein to Alicia Keys or Kanye West.
This album's problem is that it seeks to cover many different vibes - several being thrown into one tune - but it doesn't remotely distinguish itself from other artists out there in this genre. However, the numbers that would get the rewind treatment would be "Hood Buzzin", to "Vicki Secrets", to "Stone Cold Killa". It's a worthy attempt in a field that's already saturated. Let's just hope he can develop himself further in future...