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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Can Ya Dig it?

Published: November 9, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

I dig. Big time. Twenty-three year old native of Chester, Pennsylvania, Kevin Michael has finally released his much-anticipated self-titled album on October 30.

The first time I encountered this artists music, I couldnt even hear it. It was at the gym and Michaels music video was playing on mtvU. The video intrigued me though, and when I looked it up online later, I feel immediately in love with the man with the ten-inch fro.

His style is different from any artist Ive ever encountered before. Its an awesome blend of gospel, R&B, and Philly neo-soul. He has an incredible voice, and he loves to use it.

Michael released an EP available only on iTunes this past April entitled Ya Dig?. It was very well-received and We All Want the Same Thing became iTunes single of the week. The song was also used in a Verizon commercial.

Kevin Michael includes all of the songs from the EP as well as a bunch of new hits. The only difference is that Vickis Secrets is acoustic on the EP and not on the album. Every song is very different from the last and his lyrics are generally very relatable as well.

None of the songs fit comfortably into one genre. The album boasts a wonderful mix of songs with messages, as well as songs with more typical themes, including love and sex. Some of the messages included in the album discuss the non-issue of mixed race relationships as well as the fact that We All Want the Same Thing, equality.

Also Michael includes some acoustic versions of a few of the songs. On these acoustic versions, he features beat-boxer Akil Dasan. Dasan does a phenomenal job with his beats. Its nearly impossible to tell that theyre being done by him, not a machine.

Also, the album features some well-known artists including Wyclef on It Dont Make Any Difference to Me, Saigon on Weekend Jumpoff, and Lupe Fiasco on We All Want the Same Thing. Each of these artists brings his own style to the album as well, which serves only to only further diversify it.

By collaborating with him, these artists show their faith in Michael. And this confidence is well-deserved. Michael is bringing something fresh to the music scene and has the fantastic and soulful vocals to really create some amazing songs.

Michael is as confident in his work as his collaborators are. The artist is quoted on the website of Atlantic Records as saying, “I'm going to tie everything together. Be Mr. Global, Mr. Universe. I've got the hit songs to do it – and wait 'till you see my show!

The man says it all. The album is incredibly solid and I would recommend it to anyone. If the music doesnt get you moving, his lyrics certainly will. Michael is going to go far, so keep your eyes on the fro.