Kenna - "Make Sure They See My Face"
Neptunes fans, rejoice: While Pharrell Williams has flooded the market with sub-par production as of late (with the exception of Clipse), his partner Chad Hugo has cooked up something marvelous with Ethiopian-American singer Kenna. "Make Sure They See My Face" oozes originality and freshness not heard from the Neptunes in years.
Kenna's sound is distinct. His singing voice has little range and sits somewhere between Thom Yorke and Slick Rick, but it sounds perfect when paired with the Neptunes' lush blend of synth-pop, hip-hop, rock and electronica grooves.
The energetic "Out of Control (State of Emotion)" (as heard in a recent Sony PSP commercial) weds hard-rock synths with baby pianos, while syncopated drums and guitars on "Sun Red, Sky Blue" serve as an atypical ballad backdrop.
"Make Sure They See My Face" is the type of album that doesn't comfortably fit into any genre section at a record store. But don't let that turn you away from hearing this excellent collection of songs.