You have to admire Kenny Fame’s ability to explore his chosen genre, to push into the extremes of the commercial and the unconventional alike. If 2016’s An Intimate Portrait was a collection of progressive R&B, an album which mixed fragile and delicate songs seeped in soul and jazz with short musical sketches and thoughts, and last year’s Another Man’s Woman played out along more expected lines, Deeper sits somewhere between.
It is wonderfully commercial but without relying on the obvious or the cliched. It runs on a slow burning and sultry groove, remains understated and sparse and, as the video underlines, is built of the darker emotions that surround the break down of relationships. As always, Kenny Fame represents the alternative to the usual Day-Glo pop infused R&B that is the standard chart fodder these days. But he does so without veering too far from what most people expect from the genre, it’s just that his choices are braver, pander less to the average listeners expectations and take more thought provoking journeys.
He might represent the most gentle of musical revolutions, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t both necessary and long over due.