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Pink Afros - EP

Kennedy

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Album Review

If Kennedy was out to establish himself as an impossible-to-pigeonhole oddball on this 2004 EP, he did a pretty good job of it. There's not much odder retro-disco than "Mama Made Me a Pimp," sung with as much matter-of-factness pride as if he's urging you to get down and shake your booty. That opening cut's not too typical of this six-song disc, though, which leans more toward folk-rock colored tunes with thick, shimmering production, multi-tracked voices, and bemusedly alienated lyrics. There's a lot of variation within that general approach, though, the Beach Boys-meets-cowpoke rock of "You Were Gone" fading in and out of psychedelic weirdness; "Heavy Metal" (which is not a heavy metal song) appropriating some thick crunching synth pop dance grooves; and the proceedings coming to an end with a cover of Robyn Hitchcock's "Heliotrope." Kennedy's high, twisting voice isn't the best vehicle for these ambitious but erratic tunes, and the whole thing sounded rather like a tryout for some ideas floating around his head — which is what EPs are often for. As EPs go, however, this is an excellent value, the enhanced CD portion adding two music videos and footage of three live performances at Abbey Road Studios, most of these featuring songs from the Kennedy album; there's also a trailer for a Kennedy documentary.

Biography

Born: 1977 in Thousand Oaks, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Sporting a look and an overall affect that makes him seem like an indie rock hipster version of Napoleon Dynamite, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Kennedy is affectedly ironic enough to make Beck look like a confessional poet. However, there's enough melody and wit in his sardonic blend of contemporary dance music, '70s AM soft rock, and indie pop to keep it from being merely empty posturing. Raised in the L.A. suburbs (his official bio claims that his real name is Jack Kennedy, and that his...
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