Jon Kennedy
Corporeal


3.0
good

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (18 Reviews)
June 29th, 2013 | 12 replies | 1,225 views


Release Date: 06/24/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When genre-bending reaches the point of snapping.

Breaking into the trip hop/electronic scene must really suck. I mean, when everything you release is going to be inevitably compared to such genre-defying masterpieces as DJ Shadow's Endtroducing and Massive Attack's Mezzanine, and your contemporaries will be such modern pioneers as Flying Lotus and Tricky, there doesn't seem a lot you can do to be innovative while solidifying yourself as an essential edition to the genre.

Not to mention the hurdles you have to overcome--because when it comes down to it, your instrument is a computer, and as talented or proficient as you may be with it, you will always be seen by the musical purists as a pseudo-musician--one devoid of talent in singing or playing a "real" instrument who has resorted to the cutting and pasting of the work of others. And after all, anyone can do that, right?

So in one sense, you have to give Jon Kennedy some credit for working in a genre that is so easily exposed to scrutiny. A genre where the artist is largely removed from his work; where the artist has little voice. And where every cross-genre addition--from jazz riffs to folk melodies to classical orchestrations and back to jazz riffs--leaves the listener potentially thinking, "Flying Lotus' experimentation was more clever" or "Endtroducing was more complete sounding." And unfortunately, those thoughts come to mind upon listening to Corporeal.

Because unlike Endtroducing, which expanded and experimented into genres that were simply unheard of in electronic music, while also remaining fluid and cohesive, Corporeal doesn't have an identity amidst all its stylistic branches. Each track travels somewhere new and unique, creating interesting compositions, often executed well in precision and idea, but nothing has continuity; there's no evidence that it experienced or learned from what it did in the previous soundscapes.

And it's unfortunate because several tracks show potential as to what the record could have been if it was cohesive. The opener "Boom Clack" pulses and dances around industrial beats and running bass lines, while the closer "The Parade" creates a truly chilling vibrophone and jazz infused drum session with a child noting, rather fittingly for once, "this place is so strange."

But in the end, Corporeal simply strives to incorporate too many genres, and does so without a sense of what it is. When each track feels like a completely separate entity, combining every influence it can, and hardly hinting that it's been anywhere it has or that it is heading anywhere at least somewhat predictable, the effect is an album that works as a collaboration would: assimilating everything and signifying nothing.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hmm...not sure why the album art isn't showing up. Anyway, this is just my attempt to act like I know what I'm talking about with trip-hop/electronic music.

MrElmo
June 29th 2013



1950 Comments


Really good review, pos

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks man. Album was pretty forgettable. No reason to check it out

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2013



9470 Comments


Nice, man. I like the way you write.

Don't like the way you approach this album, though, when saying "No reason to check it out". I don't mean that in a hostile way, it just confuses me that you'd write about an album that isn't worth checking out-- isn't there at least something interesting about when the album stumbles?

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry, you're right. There are definitely some good moments on there and it wouldn't be fair to completely dismiss it. Fans of DJ Shadow or Flying Lotus would find it pale in comparison, but it's not a boring listen. Thanks for the feedback too btw!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2013



9470 Comments


No problem man, have you written before your reviews on this site?

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No, not really outside of school papers and such. I dabble in short fiction from time to time, but nothing "professional" minded like on this site.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'd like to keep at this and try for being a contributor or something though. The ABR review has been a good confidence boost.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2013



9470 Comments


Well, you have a natural knack for it that most lack, so definitely keep up the good work. And yeah, I'm sure that's a really cool feeling, after 3 reviews! My biggest one to date is the latest Dillinger Escape Plan album, and that was just two months ago.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh yea, that was a great review. And I'm sure I wouldn't have been featured if it wasn't for the album being number one right now and mine being the best of the three I suppose. I'm sure plenty of reviewers, both staff/contributor or otherwise, could have done a better job, but I'm siked that it's up there haha!

JonKennedy
July 9th 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

d-_-b

www.facebook.com/jonkennedymusicfederation

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

5-ing your own music, eh? Nice.



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