January 22nd, 2008 § 0 comments

In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell uses musician Kenna as an example of good music that is not marketable because marketing people can’t usually recognize it as good but who knowledgeable music lovers will love. According to Gladwell, this is an example where just sampling something will not yield accurate results when using intuitive expertise.

Regardless of Gladwell’s conclusions, I decided to try and hear a bit of Kenna’s music–and I was floored. Kenna’s music is unclassifiable. It’s a powerful mix of many styles, so well matched that one can’t help but listen endlessly to the variations just one song can provide.

I’ve been listening to the songs of the Make Sure They See My Hands, and the variation is unbelievable. Daylight, the album’s first song, for example, opens with a very New Age intro, evolves to a mix of soul and eletronica, and finally becomes an operatic rock song. Be Still, on the other hand, has the melodic roots of a traditional rock son but also includes a soft blend of synth pop that makes it unforgettable.

All other music share this kind of diversity, using a mix of hip hop, house, synth pop, eletronica, soul, rock, and many other styles that will probably satisfy even the most demanding music lover. The U2 influence is evident in many songs (Sun Red, Sky Blue could have been a U2 song) and I liked that aspect of Kenna’s music as well.

In short, a very worth addition to my music library.

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