Kinetics & One Love — You Are Not Alone [Album Release]
Posted by jeffwbaird on August 29, 2012
When Kinetics & One Love released their first album in 2009, it was evident that they were still students in college (albeit extremely talented ones). Their debut, Fading Back to Normal, was crafted around an abrupt breakup, and the mood vacillated as Kinetics utilized the recording process to heal his wounds. While the album spawned many fan-favorites, blog-standouts, and even the quadruple-platinum single “Airplanes” (later recorded by B.o.B), it was the sense of potential that lingered after the release that drew them such a quick and organic following.
Three years later, after constructing a new twelve-track LP that is immediately indicative of their growth—both as a collective and individually—Kinetics & One Love reached the top ten of the iTunes hip-hop charts, just two hours into the album’s release. The immediate popularity of the album has to do with the fact that while You Are Not Alone is not really a departure from their sound, it has been sincerely refined and developed, and the scope of their work has radically escalated. While Fading… had a heavy dose of impactful and conscious material in its own right, here Kinetics has made that the focus, pinning the album’s success on his fluency while speaking about global and personal issues, which he executes with astounding ease and eloquence. You Are Not Alone frequently veers beyond the local, which is part of what makes it such a striking release from artists so early in their careers. It is also uncharacteristic for its time given the strong album concept, which Kinetics described as its being told from “the perspective a futuristic alien society reflecting upon Earth’s mistakes in 2012 and pondering the future direction of mankind.” This theme tightly winds around the material in metaphors that gives it a true sense of unity—something almost entirely lost in an iTunes-dominated era of music.
While Kinetics has fine-tuned and sharpened his flows, One Love’s production game has elevated remarkably, weaving together elements of hip-hop, pop, and EDM to create a soundscape that is captivating and melodic all the way through—battling Kinetics’ lyrics and flow head-on as the most memorable and hypnotizing constituent of every song. His growing presence as a producer plays a prime role in the duo’s development, which—accompanied with Kinetics’ more dominant vocal presence and delivery—has given them the power to sustain the listener’s attention for a proper full-length and then some.
Over its twelve tracks Kinetics drops copious amounts of knowledge, touching upon domestic abuse in “Hideous,” teen suicide in “Sign Language” with Wynter Gordon, and struggling to fit it on “Sometimes I Feel Like A Robot,” a song that perfectly balances Kinetics’ ability to please hip-hop heads and lyrical enthusiasts as well as those with a pop ear. Kinetics & One Love were clearly selective in their pursuit of features, as everyone here serves a purpose, whether it’s Termanology starting off the triumphant “Still Dreamin’” with a precise and fierce flow, Yung Joey adding boast and posture to the club jam “In My Own World,” or Accent blazing through the most complex of rhyme constructions (“the heart of this artist harbors a harshness/from horrible hardships so heartily harnessed”) on the standout “This Too Shall Pass.” Other features include Nitty Scott, KGB, Paulina Goudieva, Mimoza, B.Love, Hunter Stout, and KTSB, as well as producer Kenna Okoye, who helped construct what are arguably two of the album’s liveliest instrumentals (“Hideous” and “In My Own World”). This album is well worth your $10 on iTunes, because beyond these twelve tracks you are supporting hip-hop with a soul and message, and proving that it can still be profitable for artists and labels.
DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES: Kinetics & One Love — You Are Not Alone