Kevin West Music

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CD reviews: Kevin West

Special to The Post and Courier

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kevin West: Once In A Lifetime (Independent)

Local songwriter Kevin West has never tried to hide his love for mixing rock, soul and rap music. On his latest effort, "Once in a Lifetime," the artist delivers an inspired if uneven collection of songs. You have to give the guy points for enthusiasm and an obvious love for the musical styles he plays with. The opening track, "Sky High," is reminiscent of something Lenny Kravitz might come up with after listening to Jimi Hendrix. That's actually a compliment, as the song itself is extremely catchy and explains why West has been able to make a living as a musician locally. Other songs, such as the alcohol soaked "One Too Many" and the memorable "Everything," further support this. But unfortunately there are a few spots where West's boastful lyrics become his Achilles' heel. Case in point are the songs "Excuse Me Beautiful" and "I'm Alright," both of which are ambitious enough but end up sounding unfinished. Still, for the most part, this is an interesting release, written and performed by an artist who is unafraid to put his material out there for folks to listen to. The final four tracks on the CD, especially "The Story of My Life," which features some lovely trumpet playing by Kenny Price, almost completely redeem those few tracks that don't quite work. (B)

Key Tracks: "Sky High," "Everything," "The Story of My Life"