Track Review: K'NAAN, 'Is Anybody Out There'

85 Billboard Rating

K'NAAN FEAT. NELLY FURTADO
"Is Anybody Out There" (3:58)
Producers: Sham & Motesart
Writers: various
Publishing: various
A&M/Octone Records

The first single from Somalian hip-hop artist K'NAAN'a new EP "More Beautiful Than Silence" picks up right where uplifting cuts like "Wavin' Flag" left off, this time with pop chameleon Nelly Furtado handling the chorus. Next to Furtado's breezy hook, which recalls her pre-Timbaland material like "Turn Off The Light," K'NAAN's uplifting subject matter sounds very much at home. Sometimes his musings are clever ("You can point a finger, but there's three pointing back"), but other times, his "troubled youth" anecdotes ("Adam was lonely, drugs were the only") come off a little too reminiscent of P.O.D.'s "Youth of a Nation." Even if K'NAAN is turning into an artist that a high school guidance counselor would love, his often eclectic, always earnest brand of pretense-free rap-pop is difficult to dislike. If his latest single is any indication, "More Beautiful Than Silence" is poised to keep "Troubadour" enthusiasts coming back for more.

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