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’s vocal prowess is well known in the world of rock, having been voted Loudwire’s Vocalist of the Year three times as a result of his work with Alter Bridge and Slash. After decades in the industry, Kennedy has finally released a solo album, Year of the Tiger. The album shows Kennedy taking a more autobiographical approach and the influences are clearly more blues, R & B and country tinged.

The entire record is based on the death of Kennedy’s father, when the singer was just four years old.  Because of his family’s Christian Science background, he chose not to seek medical help for his condition and died soon thereafter. The album cycles through anger and grief and at times is told from the perspective of Kennedy, while other songs come from his mother’s point of view, having lost her husband.

Kennedy plays most of the instruments himself, but is joined by a drummer and bassist. His vocals are the focal point of the album, and Kennedy himself said the recordings were arranged in such a way that his voice would be dominant. However, on most songs he stays in a lower register than usual. An exception is The Great Beyond, which features the epic, more soaring vocals listeners are accustomed to.  Blind Faith and Nothing But a Name clearly give Kennedy a chance to voice his frustrations on his father’s religious beliefs, and how they affected the lives of those around him. Other songs are more uplifting, such as Mother, Love Can Only Heal, Songbird, and One Fine Day.

This  album was clearly a very cathartic and vulnerable experience for Kennedy, especially for a first solo release. His lyrical honesty paired with a dirty, gritty, back to the basics musical background spin an emotional backdrop that paint the picture of a lifelong journey of a man living with a lifetime of emotional scars.

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