K'naan - Troubadour
Canada's very own K'naan is back with his fourth official release. Having spent most of his childhood in Mogadishu, Somalia and then raised in Toronto, Another Ontarian responsible for building the reputation of a terrifically balanced local indie music industry is this man. If anything, Troubador, confirms his continued search for writing within a broad range of genres.
All variations aside, K'Naan is fun spirited. Tracks like "ABC's", have great brass, and a team effort (featuring Chubb Rock) of lyrical energy. "Dreamer" is upbeat, while outlining a -70's t.v. theme- sampling of instrumentation. Again, lyrically solid and stylish at times, K'naan hits this line cold.
"Back on the verse, imagine when crack wasn't birthed. Imagine the earth wasn't hurt, Imagine no homeland alerts".
The whole song, tracked with a dope but continuous beat and bass. "Bang Bang" settles back into that faster pace beat. "People Like Me", the closing track, has an almost Eminem style of lyrical production and conviction. The hook includes a violin, as well as some careful guitar and piano work.
Chali2na (of J5 fame) and Mos Def spit definitively on the Reggae soaked, "America". Other big name guest stars from Metallica (Hammett) and Maroon 5 (Levine) sort of spoil the indie spirit, but the music doesn't suffer too much.
Levine and K'naan enjoy a Gnarls Barkley-esque atmosphere together. Hammett has to (surprise surprise), water down his effort in order to gel with the music. You make the call, sounds like P.O.D. with that pesky swine disease. No offense to my friends from San Diego. Hammett's solo, was far from his best work. Though he did manage a couple of good licks as the song eventually picks up a bit and ends abruptly.
Damian Marley makes a nice save just after the midway point of "I Come Prepared", as K'naan doesn't showcase his best creativity. Overall this track works for me...
Troubadour should be considered for fans of Souls Of Mischief and Jurassic 5 as well. Personally I won't listen to K'naan out of need. Though songs like "I Come Prepared" and "T.I.A." show a maturity, these tracks are still too repetitive. The guest appearances we're interesting, and help to round out K'naan's persona. Next time, less guest faces, and more respected artists. That being said, I look forward to hearing K'naan's next effort.
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