Summer is a time for new music. It fills itself with countless concerts, poolside boom boxes and humming cars impatiently waiting for a green light. One CD that should be present in your car or swim bag is Ken Block’s “Drift.” “Drift” is Ken Block’s first solo album and was released last December. However, as a singer and guitarist for Sister Hazel, he is no stranger to the music industry, which becomes quite clear once the first track begins to play.
“Drift” separates itself from numerous other albums. How? The songs on the album, all but one written by Ken Block himself, are conversational. Yes, conversational. No rewind button for lyric clarification required. In listening to Ken Block’s album, you are only asked to do two things: listen and enjoy. He’ll tell you numerous things, but none of them are beyond the realm of conversation. It’s almost as if he’s sitting in my living room with me as I write this, telling me “I Don’t Mind” and “It’s Alright.”
Block’s conversational manner does not hinder his ability to perform songs with a deeper meaning. “Blue to a Blind Man” fills itself with deep lyrics and tight melodies. The song made me stop and think, and I liked that. The fact that it is a slower song and features a female vocalist, Maile Misajon, showcases Block’s versatility as an artist. “Better This Way” also has a somber theme, but it only reminds the listener of the numerous messages Ken Block can deliver.
The songs on the CD and the tone in which Block uses to deliver them remind us all that, regardless of his talent, he is still human. His lyrics and music, ranging from thoughtprovoking to heart wrenching to cheerful, reflect his vulnerability as a human and honesty as a musician. There is nothing fake about his music or delivery. The honesty of it all makes it even better than it already is.
I don’t have to be a personality
Like everyone in California
But I might make you think a little
I don’t have to be a politician
But I do like the clothes they wear
Generally, I have a favorite and least favorite song on a CD. For once in my life, both of these titles are absent. Not a single song makes my fingers head to the “next” button on my iPod, and putting the entire CD on repeat has proven to be an effective way of being an equal opportunity listener. However, it is impossible to deny that a smile creeps across my face each time I hear “I Don’t Mind.” Once again, the lyrics remind me of conversations I’ve had with friends, and the music is…fun. No, not watching a movie fun. Think hanging out with your closest friends, talking about absolutely nothing, but somehow laughing for hours. “It’s Alright” has a similar friendly vibe and evokes the same smile as “I Don’t Mind.”
My advice to you? Strike up a conversation with Ken Block this summer. Sit back, relax, listen and enjoy.
I Don’t Mind: Music Video
33,059 Days: (Not the best recording–sorry)
You and Me: