K’naan’s last full length studio album, Troubadour, was released in 2009 with some positive reviews. The album’s biggest single was undoubtedly “Wavin’ Flag,” which made it onto the Top 10 charts in 19 different countries. Coca Cola using the song as the promotional anthem for the 2010 World Cup played a huge part in that success. K’naan has since been taking part in philanthropic initiatives and touring as well. K’naan released a new EP early this year which featured artists like Nas and Nelly Furtado. All of the songs on the More Beautiful Than Silence EP are featured on the new album with the exception of “Coming To America.”
The tracks off of the EP are scattered throughout Country, God Or The Girl along with 10 all-new tracks. The entire album flows very well from start to finish and the production throughout the project definitely helped achieve that. K’Naan’s ability to effortlessly go from rapping to singing on nearly every song shows his great versatility as a performer. Some of the best songs on the album were some of the songs featured on the EP, like the title track “More Beautiful Than Silence” and the track with Nas titled “Nothing To Lose.” Seeing the positive reception these initially received may be the reason for why he decided to throw them onto the album as well.
K’Naan released a few new songs off of the album prior to its official release; like the tracks “Hurt Me Tomorrow” and “Gold In Timbuktu.” They are definitely some of the better songs that were not first featured on the EP. The track “70 Excuses” is a standout track where K’Naan goes through many excuses people make in everyday life. The song “Simple” is another standout in which K’Nann speaks on the struggle that he went through to get to the position he is in right now. But K’Naan had something up his sleeve when it came to the other features on the new album as he managed to get music heavyweights Bono, of U2, on “Bulletproof Pride” and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones on “Sleep When We Die.” Those are indeed some major features, the only thing better than that simple fact is that the songs actually turned out to be really good.
Be sure to pick up the deluxe version of the album on iTunes to be able to get 3 bonus tracks with appearances from will.i.am and Mark Foster of Foster The People. If you like the new album or some of K’Naan’s previous work, you should consider checking out one of his live shows in a city near you. He has one of the best live shows I’ve seen. Tour schedule is available here.
Key Tracks: Nothing To Lose, 70 Excuses, Bulletproof Pride, Sleep When We Die, More Beautiful Than Silence