New Sacred Cow (Columbia)

Kenna 

New Sacred Cow (Columbia)

Kenna's debut album, New Sacred Cow, has been around in one form or another since 2001. It should've remained shelved. Save Neptunes producer Chad Hugo's meticulous drum programming, there isn't a sound on it that's worth a damn. Hugo, whom some regard as a sort of holy bovine himself, also plays sax and keyboards here, but he can't polish this overblown turd. The Ethiopian-born Kenna recalls many of the worst aspects of '80s "cutting edge" rock: the grating bombast of Tears for Fears and U2, the whiny vocals of the Cure's Robert Smith and the Fixx's Cy Curnin, and the over-reliance on the string-heavy power-ballad format of past-its-prime Simple Minds. Lines such as When I fall asleep, I'm a puppet cutting strings match the disc's sonic incompetence.

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