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The Unknown Music: ‘Kenny Lattimore’

A smooth 90s vibe.

Robyn McDonald

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Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to find and write about a physical piece of music (CD, album or cassette) they had no prior knowledge of. You can find out how it all unfolded by browsing our music section

Listening to Kenny Lattimore has me in my feelings. I found this CD collection in my mother’s repertoire and she was shocked because she hasn’t seen/heard it in ages. I chose it because I noticed the cover had an older tone/color. On the back, it Kenny sits in a chair just in a “hanging out” type of mood.

This album, released in 1996, feels and sounds smooth, at total of 12 tracks and 58min. I love the easy going, simple instrumentation he uses in this first song, “Never Too Busy.” That song also happens to be one of his bigger hits. I can see why, it’s got that smooth 90’s vibe.

His second track, “Just What It Takes,” has a cool, jumpy bass rhythm, and his vocals just ease through the track effortlessly, like it was meant to be there. I love the bass, and the simple drumming technique. Now onto his third track, “I Won’t Let You Down,” the bass is more free to let notes hang instead of cutting them short. In this song, Lattimore is telling the woman he wouldn’t abandon her at all and he’s providing her sense of security that he’ll always be there.

“All I Want” is the fourth track on this album, and it has a simple drum pattern with an easy bass pattern, a little bit of piano/synth, but you can tell his vocals are carried through the song by his emotion. It seems he’s telling her how much he cares for her and wants to be around her, spend time with her, and love her.

Number 5: “Forever,” again has a smooth tone to it. The next track on the list is called “For You.” This song feels like it’d be played in a jazz/poetry coffee shop like back in the 80’s-90’s. Songs 7 and 8 are about the joy and admiration of a woman, also questioning where the love went between them.

Tracks 9 and 10, are about forgiveness, always remembering he’ll be there waiting if she decides to leave, and the memories they’ve shared. Second to last, comes song 11 to tell the story of how the journey of their love was able to “climb the mountain” to bring them together. Finally, track 12 explains who Mr. Kenny Lattimore is as a person. He speaks to God as like a prayer after a few accidents/mistakes that have happened in the past, learning from those mistakes.

This was a remarkable album and I would highly recommend listening and giving it a listen if you have a relaxing night in.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Robyn "RJ" McDonald is a musician from Paducah, KY, living in Nashville, TN. She began playing drums, keyboards/piano by the age of seven, and studied Videography/Journalism throughout, starting in middle school through high school, and going to SAE Institute of Technology for two Associate's degrees in Audio Engineering/Music Production and Music Business.

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