“Why did they call it Make Sure They See My Face if they don’t have the damn face on the album cover?” my friend said as he thumbed through the liner notes of Kenna’s new album.
Unfortunately, Kenna has been getting reactions like that for a hot minute now. It almost seems like he’s been fighting off the haters since day one of his career. On first glance, most people won’t ”get” him. Even with this new seemingly multicultural music scene–with groups like the Black Eyed Peas looking like a Benneton commercial, acts like Justin Timberlake and Amy Winehouse taking over R&B, and rappers spitting over Daft Punk and Radiohead beats–a black guy singing like Bono of U2 STILL turns heads.
Not that it matters though. Kenna has gone above and beyond with his latest album. Production was headed by Chad Hugo of the Neptunes (a childhood friend), and the album sounds much more fresh and consistent than New Sacred Cow, his previous effort. Upbeat tunes like “Face the Gun” and “Say Goodbye to Love” manage to sound pop accessible ans still maintain that Kennaedge. songs like “Sun Red, Sky Blue,” and “Daylight” are powerful and soulful–almost sounding like Kenna has something to prove. The train does derail slightly, with “Loose Wires” sounding too eclectic for its own good and “Better Wise Up,” sounding more like Thom Yorke for comfort.
All in all though, Make Sure They See My Face is a powerful album. Off the bat you see Kenna’s vision for music in the 21st century. Haters be dammed.