By Daniel Connell
‘Home’ is the first solo album of singer-songwriter James Kennedy – a UK based musician, previously the guitarist and singer from Kyshera. Since breaking off from his former band, Kennedy has been exploring his music in a therapeutic manner, stating that it got him through a deep depression since his last tour. The album is to be released on the 31/03/2017.
Kennedy has a strong way with lyrics, and the album becomes a kind of therapy in and of itself for the listener. The lyrics are relatable and paint a great picture of both moments of happiness, and moments of despair. A constant battle of emotion, uncertainty, and self evaluation is reflective throughout ‘Home’. Not only has Kennedy helped himself through a tough time in his life, but sets a precedent to help others through his music.
The opening track ‘Meaning of Life’ has an uplifting start, and is surprisingly not so depressing as it appeared to be from the preface. However, on paper the lyrics are deceivingly nihilist, considering the title of the song. As the track peaks, the lyrics are – “what about us/ what about me/ what do we do/ what do we mean/ we do it all again/ we do it all again”, and that line repeats to the end of the track. Though it feels like a happy anthem, there is that meaningless, eternal recurrence that can be felt throughout the lyrics of ‘Home’.
There is no doubting James Kennedy skills as a solo act. ‘Home’ showcases his range of vocals from clean and clear, to raspy and aggressive. Also, his talent as a guitarist is unmistakable, as we are taken from hard-hitting distortion on ‘Unconditional’, clean and smooth electric on ‘Just a Man’, to proficient finger-picking acoustic on ‘Misfits’.
This album avoids getting bogged down by one sound, and there are multiple throwbacks to bands-past. ‘Keeping On’ is reminiscent of Green Day in their prime… and Kennedy looks very similar to Billy Joe Armstrong – and let’s not forget that Kennedy was “titled the 32nd sexiest man in Wales”. That is not something to be snuffed at.
‘Home’ by James Kennedy is a strong effort to break away from his past, and a great showcase of his skills as a solo musician. You can pre-order ‘Home’ from Amazon by MP3 download or CD, or check out the track ‘Unconditional’ from the album on his website. The album is set to be released on the 31/3/2017.