Drew Kennedy Turns Conflict Into Song
With seven albums under his belt, Drew Kennedy is now trying to find the perfect balance between being selfish as a musician and being selfless as a father and husband. In the middle of his first day of recording, Kennedy's wife went into labor two months early. He made it home to witness the birth of his son, but it followed with a 37 day stay in a Level IV NICU. After that, the songs he was set to record felt different. From some traditional country to pop-influenced tunes, this upcoming album is a testament to facing hardship.
11 tracks, including 10 written by Kennedy himself, explore many areas of emotion, from break ups to being on the road away from your love. I like to think that I can detect a bullshitter on an album, when it's obvious that an artist was given 15 tracks to record because they make them sound pretty. Drew Kennedy's blood and tears are felt in every piano ballad, acoustic finger-pick, and steel guitar solo.
My personal choice for the strongest song is the beautiful tune House. A song taking the expression "turn this house into a home" and flipping it on its head, I can actually feel the love slip through his fingers in the song. You can feel yourself falling in love along with the protagonist of Cream and Sugar, as he watches a beautiful girl meet him for coffee.
This album accomplishes the difficult task of bending genres while keeping the ability to sound like a cohesive collection of music. From straight traditional, to a little R&B and pop, he manages to stay country while dipping his feet into genre's some traditionalists may not like on any given day (myself included). However, there is a difference between this and using a pop sound and dropping fake drum beats in to drown out the fact that you ever had a banjo in the song in the first place.
Kennedy sounds like David Nail and Michael Bublé, which, yes, is a strange combination. But again, it works. The unique sound is fresh and new, but not so odd that it would scare you away.
I've had two months to absorb this album, and I am still discovering new things to love about it. It's worth a listen.
At Home in the Big Lonesome comes out November 3