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Review: K’naan’s sound in ‘Country, God or the Girl’ stifled by lyrics

Having released an EP at the beginning of this year, rapper K’naan follows up with a new album, “Country, God or the Girl.” Despite many excellent tracks, K’naan makes several confusing stylistic choices.

One of these confusing tracks is “Bulletproof Pride,” which features Bono. The singers’ voices mesh together fairly well, and a slow piano rhythm sets a soothing background for the words. However, many of K’naan’s lines end with a spoken or just slightly sung word, and this combination does not come together well, because the sounds sound messy together.

The track “Hurt Me Tomorrow” focuses on the “girl” portion of the album’s title. The piano creates a pleasing effect similar to that of “Bulletproof Pride.” Unlike before, however, K’naan sings every word by himself and synergizes better with the piano. The song has more of a pop influence than the others, which adds more range to the album as a whole.

To add to the confusion, on the track “The Sound of My Breaking Heart” K’naan’s voice is manipulated so that it feels like there is some distance between him and the listeners’ ears with his mellowness and volume.

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“Country, God or the Girl” is strange in that excellent songs share the roster with quite weaker ones. “The Sound of My Breaking Heart” and “Bulletproof Pride,” as well as others, are only passable and could have been improved significantly with better execution and direction. However, some songs shine beautifully and show what K’naan is capable of.

Overall rating: 2 stars

Having released an EP at the beginning of this year, rapper K’naan follows up with a new album, “Country, God or the Girl.”

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