The Mile

Kenny Sean

Barrelhouse Review Music, 2006

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kennysean

REVIEW BY: Mark Millan

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/06/2009

Although Kenny Sean has recorded three full-length albums under various band names in the past, The Mile is the first complete solo effort from this inspired singer-songwriter. Produced by bandmate Tyler Chester, Sean has delivered a wonderful collection of tunes ranging from moody ballads to exuberant rock ‘n’ roll cuts. 

He also happens to possess one of the sexiest voices I’ve heard for some time, and it only helps his cause when he gets all romantic on moments like the country-spiced “Candy By My Side.”  He also evokes raw emotion with the heart-wrenching plea “Hate To Be Alone.” “Souvenirs” has shades of Dylan running through it, which can only be a good thing. In fact, Sean lists the likes of Dylan, Ryan Adams, and Neko Case as influences for this particular project, but he always remains himself and in complete control of the material he’s delivering.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track is a touching alt-rock gem that opens the album and wastes no time in tugging on the heartstrings. “Let Them Come” is given a rather stately arrangement that keeps the focus on Sean weaving his words of hope before the song builds to a masterful climax. “It Ain’t You” and “Here We Go Again” are two of the strongest tracks to be found here. The former is a swaggering, exuberant rocker full of spice, while the latter is a stripped-down lament of a broken relationship that Sean delivers with earnest soul.

“Razor” is another alt-rocker that finds Sean again lamenting that thing called love. This one, though, is a little more abstract and could represent many facets of what we understand to be love. Although he stretches his voice to its limits on this one, Sean keeps it in check and never loses control of himself.

“Where Did The Money Go?” is another clear highlight and probably the most accessible song on the album. Its easy groove and accessible rock sound would please just about anyone who digs real music. A wonderful twist comes when Sean injects Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” into the latter part of the song, an unexpected move that works a treat.

“Me From Myself” is the haunting tale of a young life gone wrong told by Sean, who reaches a new height in delivering this one straight from the heart. He weaves some beautiful harmonica around this one as it gradually builds to a stellar finale. “Tie Me Down” lightens the mood a little with a laid-back approach to allow Sean to paint a wonderful image from deep within himself.  The disc closes with “New Year’s Day,” another radio-friendly rock tune that seals the deal with conviction and leaves Sean in a somewhat hopeful state.

The Mile is a journey of the heart and mind delivered by a stellar band and their enchanting leader. It’s self-assured and rocks easily when it has to, but it’s the kind of album that you wouldn’t exactly want to play on your happiest days because it could spoil the mood. Much of its darkness, however, is subtle, and there’s plenty of light to balance it out. Overall, this is a truly impressive debut from a promising and talented man.

Rating: B+

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© 2009 Mark Millan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Barrelhouse Review Music, and is used for informational purposes only.