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Southern Star December 2017

Kenny Dread’s We Will Be Lovers celebrates—you guessed it—love! Chicago expat Kenny Dread recorded in West Cork, Ireland, where he is surrounded by people who play music socially, and everyone sings. Kenny Dread sings; plays nylon string guitar, 12-string guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, and cajon (a Peruvian percussion instrument); claps; and programs the drums. Some songs slyly wink (“Sexy Ranger”), while others touch the liberation of body, mind, and spirit that only love can bring. This is a pop record, lush with strings, guest appearances, and a little trumpet, courtesy of Manwolves’ Michael Werner. Cover art by Vivian Sakellariou is abstract, soft, and geometric, like all the tangles of our lives.

“In The Morning” opens the release, with a lilting Afro-pop guitar line, nice backup vocals and some low-key, Jamaican-style toasting courtesy of Kenny. The songs are vignettes of life with detailed personifications. The poetry is tangible, almost biblical. “The second hand never seems to catch on the first, but the moon is on fire in a total eclipse” from the title track is evocative. “Marvel”‘s refrain “If you love yourself” is catchy and positive—it’s my fave track. “The Real Lover In Me” is a standard when Kenny performs with Devi 2000. It’s a song celebrating Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Uplifting and fun, it addresses the imperfections of this human form, and the perfection of love. The album closes with the sonic power of “Exhalation”: Because isn’t that how all things end? Moving through life with power and grace, breathing in and out, you are a lover, Kenny Dread!

Debi Buzil · YogaChicago November 2017