Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kevin Michael Music Feature

Kevin Michael
Kevin Michael

Philly has done it again. The birthplace of neo-soul issues its newest recruit, Kevin Michael. His Downtown/Atlantic Records self-titled debut is full of Philly soul, contemporary R&B, and pop music. Michael possess’ a voice that evokes passion, emotion, and raw soul, much like that of his predecessors Maxwell, Bilal, and Musiq. His debut is a collection of songs that showcases a vocalist who is confident in being unique. Album highlights include the slinky love jam “Liquid Lava Love” and the lyrical masterpiece “Ghost”, one of three stellar tracks from hit makers, The Clutch. Yet, the generic nature of some of the LP’s cuts leaves Michael’s voice on the playing field with no supporting cast. Lyrical content and production fall flat on tracks “Ha Ha Ha” and “Can’t Get Enuff.” Kevin Michael’s vocal acrobatics are the star of this collection and with development of the total product, I predict Michael will be a staple in the contemporary music landscape.

1. We All Want the Same Thing - Lupe Fiasco, Kevin Michael
• Nod-your-head-neo-soul track that is full of soul and swag. Lupe feature puts this one over the top.

2. It Don't Make Any Difference to Me - Wyclef Jean, Kevin Michael
• New age racial equality anthem. Cool concept, not something I would listen to all the time. Wyclef feature is forgettable to say the least.

3. Can't Get Enuff - Kevin Michael, Shorty Da Kid
• Generic ultra-pop track. Kev sounds good but the track/lyrical content is weak.

4. Ha Ha Ha
• Another generic track, but of the R&B persuasion this time. Mad repetitive, so much so I am not even sure what this song was about aside from “Ha Ha Ha” in the chorus.

5. Vicki Secrets
• Cool pop track that has very “tongue n’ cheek” lyrics but very catchy melodies.

6. Hood Buzzin
• Genre-fusing joint that blends soulful vocals, cool writing, and infectious pop appeal, all in one track.

7. Ain't Got You
• 1 of 2 ballads on the entire project, “Ain’t Got You” has a folksy, teen drama theme song vibe. Not my style but I guess it has its place.

8. Stone Cold Killa
• On this one Kevin let’s his funky side have its way. A neo-soul party joint, in the vein of Maxwell, is complete with great production and arrangements.

9. Weekend Jumpoff
• Another foray into the funkier repertoire, Michael skillfully rides another Clutch production in style. This song is also featured on HBO’s Entourage soundtrack.

10. Love Letter
• Uniquely stacked lead vocals give this R&B joint a sound all its own. Another catchy hook allows for this “Letter” to serve as a standout on the LP.

11. Ghost
• My second favorite track on the album. The Clutch write Kevin a timeless story of love lost, with a new twist. Aside from the lyrics pulling you in, Kevin commands this Ne-yo-ish, R&B-pop cut with the finesse of a seasoned veteran.

12. Liquid Lava Love
• My favorite cut on the album. Kevin channels Bilal/Prince on this baby-makin’ slow jam. Also the song is made that much better by featuring Claudette Ortiz’s (City High) distinctive vocals. Both Kevin and Claudette showcase their perfect falsettos.

13. Too Blessed - Kevin Michael, Q-Tip,
• Hip-hop track with a great message and a dope Q-TIP feature.

14. We All Want the Same Thing [Acoustic] - Akil Dasan,Kevin Michael

15. It Don't Make Any Difference to Me [Acoustic] - Akil Dasan, Kevin Michael

Check Kevin Michael’s stellar live performance at the McDonald’s Live Concert Series this summer.

Kevin also performed as apart of the VMA festivities this year.

1 comment:

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