Mo Kenney – ‘Mo Kenney’

mokeI’ll be honest, when I heard the opening track to Canadian singer-songwriter Mo Kenney’s self-titled album I began to crack my knuckles and settle in for an afternoon of writing some rather filthy and cruel things. It’s safe to say that I found opening track ‘Eden’ to not be quite to my taste. In fact, I still think it’s uninspiring and a poor choice to open the album with.

But anyway, not judging a book by its cover and all that, the album improves unfathomably and becomes an entirely different beast. For me, it doesn’t get going until the drums kick in on ‘Sucker’ and form that point onwards the amount of attention I gave the album was endlessly rising. Kenney shows undeniable wisdom beyond her years, who would have thought at 23 someone could write such complete songs and ultimately a well-rounded finished product.

Made up of individual tracks that are (almost, I won’t be swayed on ‘Eden’) all full of their own distinctive character, Kenney and her sole collaborator Joel Plaskett succeed in doing more than just filling the air; the fill the mind with all manner of crazy notions and ideas. The contrasts between harsh and smooth textures gives the album a character and shows a versatility in Kenney’s songwriting the easily surpasses the work of her peers. The beautifully hypnotic ‘I Can’t Talk’ has me drifting to a land of pillows and chocolate mountains before suddenly the rough and ready electric guitar kicks off the next track, ‘Scene Of The Crime’ which combines pure, enticing vocals with an unexpected gritty guitar and results in one of the album’s genuine highlights. 

Oh, and don’t you dare miss ‘Deja Vu’ which brings rock’n’roll swagger with the sheer infectiousness of pop and folk; it’s absolutely killer.

And Mo’s cover of Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ is the perfect tribute to one of music’s greatest living legends, I’m sure ol’ Ziggy would be rather proud.

So this may have to be one of those rare moments where I was wrong, in a manner of speaking, for a brief few minutes… But this isn’t about me, this is about Mo Kenney: Canada’s way of saying sorry for Justin Bieber. In an ideal world she’d be the one selling millions of records and giving this upcoming selfish generation the kick up the backside they need.

If anyone needs me I’ll be on my way to Nova Scotia with a bottle of apology maple syrup, what Canadian could resist?

Ciaran Steward

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