Kenneth Whalum has been relatively quiet with solo releases since the Big K.R.I.T. assisted “Might Not Be OK.” But as Hip Hop and R&B’s quiet storm, the Memphis native’s musical contributions to Jay-Z (including his latest LP 4:44), Maxwell, John Legend and so many others prove that even when he’s not working, he maintains an impressive workload behind the scenes. Today, the instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter returns with his latest project Broken Land, an eight-track album that includes “Might Not Be OK” and a very dreamy opener (“Last Words”) featuring ethereal songstress India Shawn. But what makes this project special is Whalum’s ability to cross genres as heard in the Rock influenced “Motive” and sweet-aching, Classic Soul number “Lay It Down.” My personal favorite “Ghost Town” meditatively navigates somber emotions with the young legend’s emotion-rousing harmonies illuminating the way.
Stripped down instrumentation swathed in giant rhythms and balmy guitar wails solidify Kenneth Whalum’s unquestioning status as a fount of one-of-a-kind artistry. You can stream the handsomely magnetic Broken Land below via Spotify and Apple Music, and be sure to support the album here.