Kenan Bell – Until The Future

Written by on March 18, 2010 in March 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Kenan Bell – Until The Future

Kenan BellHere’s the scenario; a rock guitarist puts heavy pressure on his friend – a rap loving school teacher – to take his musical passion to the recording studio and on the road. Further encouragement from yet another longtime friend would, along the way, leads to laying down tracks, releasing the music and touring. This is Kenan Bell. And no, that’s not a type of instrument, nor is it an obscure phrase underscored by hidden meaning. Kenan Bell is the teacher-turned-hip-hop-performer. With support from former Eve 6 guitarist Jon Siebels and the official on-stage hype man Jason Burkhart, Bell delivers an intelligent, heavy blow to all that is cliché in rap music. Call this any number of categorical names, but Bell’s concoction of stripped down indie rock and straightforward rhyming showers the brain with smart, catchy, modern and a little throwback vitality rarely found even in the underground scene – let alone commercial outlets. Until the Future is a culmination of many influences, with all eleven tracks offering both a sense of individuality and unification. It’s like this… the record is never boring, but maintains an uncanny wit and literate cohesion throughout. The opening track, “Like This” bears a chorus that says it all: ‘You’ve never heard a song like this before.’ Actually, that line applies to the album as a whole. Because of the vast musical inspiration, and his friends’ involvement in the project, and Bell’s decidedly intelligent take on a genre that’s been commercially over-simplified – the musical journey is a welcomed experience in progression. Call it prog-hop, call it indie rap/rock, and call it anything but something you’ve ever heard before. Until the Future, isn’t just bright and worldly for the sake of being on a higher level. No, that would be some sort of elitism or highbrow snubbing of indie rock and rap music. Bell and company are not elitists and the album is entirely too entertaining from beginning to end to be!

Listening to this is akin to sitting in an intimate live setting where the band plays flawlessly and you walk away having heard something absolutely unique in the process. Perhaps that has something to do with the artists’ passion being genuine, and the joint effort by all three guys on production, writing and recording.