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Make Sure They See My Face

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2007 release from the critic's darling Kenna, the eldest son of an immigrant Ethiopian family had a life changing experience when he discovered U2. He resolved to make his own music that was equally powerful and poetic. Landing in Virginia Beach, he connected with the areas most creative residents, The Neptunes to craft music that would eventually lead to Make Sure They See My Face. AP cheers that he's part Stevie Wonder, part Radiohead, part Ric Ocasek, while Entertainment Weekly calls Kenna a savvy, idiosyncratic artist who could help redeem radio. Interscope.

Review

Avant-soul singer Kenna emerges from label purgatory with a blazing new album -- Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2007 - Michael Muller
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B000Q9OD58
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,470 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David McLendon on October 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
In 2003, a self-proclaimed music snob told me, "I may've just discovered one of the most unique artists on the planet." After listening to his copy of Kenna's first album, New Sacred Cow, I concurred. It has been 4 years since I was first entranced by Cow, yet its eclectic combination of styles, hypnotic melodies, and drastically different beats have yet to grow old. I have spent much of the last 4 years sleuthing for a mere hint of anything new from Kenna, and when Make Sure They See My Face was announced, I installed a drool pan next to my bed to solve the ensuing problem.

Yesterday was the release of Face, and, after a full day of being autistically preoccupied and accomplishing little to nothing at work, I raced to the local music shop to claim my long-awaited prize. As with any highly-anticipated new recording, I was slightly nervous as I inserted the cd and began my habitual I-just-bought-a-new-album-and-will-now-listen-to-it-start-to-finish-while-driving-aimlessly ritual.

The next 52 minutes and 48 seconds were nothing short of spectacular.

Songs came in waves, each one different than the previous, always moving, sometimes powerful, never dull. Like its predecessor, Face is a conglomeration of beats you've never heard. Multiple listens will, much like repeat exposures to Radiohead, Buckley, or any other modern-day Pop Rock Bach, reveal certain nuances which were previously overlooked. Yet, for all its depth, Face catches the listener right out of the box, and many fans-to-be will be hooked after but one song. Long time Kenna Freaks will hear more of the same, and by "same" I mean "completely different than anything else.
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Format: Audio CD
The song that turned me on to Kenna was "Out Of Control" when I first heard it on a commercial for the Sony PSP quite a bit ago. I must admit I haven't given his first album a thourough enough listen to, so I can't compare it to this new one.

The reason I gave the album 5 stars is because of the uniqueness of Kenna's style. To me it's refreshing that his music can't be defined in one genre. I didn't know if the entire album would be quality (think: one hit wonder) but I was pretty impressed after listening to it through twice already.

"Out Of Control" is still one of my favorites, but I like "Sun Red, Sky Blue" a lot as well. Overall a solid album. I have a feeling it will be an under-rated sleeper.
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Format: Audio CD
If you have researched Kenna you have probably heard how unique and totally non conforming his music is. You probably also heard that he can never be a commercial success because you can't categorize his music. To the first point, Kenna is totally unique. His music is amazing. If you like, Depeche Mode, Coldplay, Bono, Duran Duran ( their few brilliant songs) and Radiohead you have to buy this album. Kenna does not rip any of these artists off. Instead you draw the correlation because you feel like you are listening to one of the "best of" from the aforementioned artists. If "Static" were released by U2 it would be a mega hit. Same applies to "Red Sun Blue Sky". If Duran Duran had put out this song it would have been huge. And on and on, with "Be Still" which sounds like Depeche and "Better Wise Up" which is pure perfection classic Radiohead. The Cure is in there too..just a bit more discreet)
All this brings me to the second point which is the lack of Kenna's commercial success being blamed on his un-catorgorizable music. This is nonsense. The fact is he has lousy promoters and record company. All the greatest were uncategorized before they became iconic. Look at the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and Cold Play to name a few. Were they mainstream? Not even close. So shame on Kenna's business managers or perhaps Kenna himself. His stuff is brilliant. The fact that it can't make it a commercial success does not line up with reason. You will listen to this album and agree. Selfishly all of this does not matter as long as I get to enjoy this wonderfully refreshing talent. Kenna is great and so is this album. Never mind the nonsense constructed around his commercial viability. Either his managers are ignorant or they are trying to be cute with their approach to making Kenna as superstar. Again I don't care as long as he keeps making great music.
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Format: Audio CD
"Make Sure They See My Face" is a mature, emotionally open CD beautifully produced by the Neptunes whose arrangements support, embolden and accentuate Kenna's intelligent lyrics.
"MSTSMF" begins with and sets the tone of this CD with "Daylight": the opening string chords gloriously unfolding into Kenna's plaintive vocal and pounding yet subtle drumming and stirring guitar licks: "...let the rush of the spirit find me." "The constant is Love...We want to see Life..."
"Sun Red/Sky Blue" is Kenna at his most emotional and spiritual: "Give me your sun red, sky blue I'm falling into You." He ends the song in a rapturous, wanton even letting go of his self over to a woman and to God by extension. In any event the conclusion of this song will give you goose bumps with it's naked, screaming almost...Kenna kneeling on the altar of Love begging for direction and acceptance.
"MSTSMF" is a terrific CD full of Love, full of Life, Full of Understanding. As such it stands as a testament to Kenna's artistry and dedication.
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