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Key Principles

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Album Review

Both country and C&W are genres that blossomed around the problems of ordinary people, with their emotive thematic situations invariably writ larger than life. Nathan's heart is close to this tradition, but their heads are far more nuanced, and consequently the Canadian group's subjects and lyrics bear little resemblance to their Southern counterparts. No achy-breaky hearts, cheatin' beatin' husbands or runaway wives are to be found on Key Principles, instead Nathan's world is populated by less dramatic souls with far less well-defined complaints. An amorphous restlessness pools around "Trans Am," an unspoken yearning is whipped up by "The Wind," nostalgia swirls around "John Paul's Deliveries," and existential angst defines an "Ordinary Day." All of Key Principles' characters long for a bit of happiness in their drab, disconnected lives. Each one is deliberately understated, their actions seemingly reduced in size, with even murder made minuscule, as if they're constantly aware their world is dwarfed by the universe itself.

In that respect, Key Principles is a continuation of the stories told on their previous two sets, but this time the quartet expand their sound, adding a flash of cabaret here, a touch of Stax brass there, a bit of Tex-Mex elsewhere, all beautifully pulled together by Howard Redekopp's excellent production. A transcendental set, and Nathan's best record to date.

Customer Reviews

This album deserves more play

Secrets is a hit record waiting to be aired. You Win and Daffodils are two others that I really enjoy, but is just an overall great album.

Why isn't this more popular?

My friend gave me this album for me bday. I love it! My favorite song on there is Daffodils. I don't know why more people don't listen to it.


Formed: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s

Along with Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, and McLean, singer Nathan is part of the new wave of British R&B artists that are making an impact both at home and in the U.S. Born Nathan Abraham Fagan- Gayle in South London in 1986, he is the son of reggae singer Lorna Gee. At the age of two, he and his mother moved to Jamaica while she pursued her singing career. Three years later, they moved to New York, but returned to England in 1997, where Nathan, influenced by Usher and Michael Jackson, began performing at...
Full Bio
Key Principles, Nathan
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Customer Ratings