K'Jon: Live Last Night
By Sarah Godfrey
Singer K'Jon, whose major label debut, "I Get Around," was released last month, waited years to see his music embraced beyond the boundaries of his native Detroit. Now that he's a headed for the big time, it's the fans' turn to wait.
It took a while for K'Jon to appear onstage at his show at the Birchmere on Wednesday night. His DJ spent a while hyping his entrance ("Y'all ready to see my man K'Jon?"), the band ran through a couple of instrumentals to warm things up, and, inexplicably, there was a Transformers-themed recorded voiceover, in which Optimus Prime claimed that K'Jon had been abducted by Decepticons and might not even be coming. Oh no!
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
The singer (who appeared with Rwandan crooner Corneille) eventually emerged, and did Detroit proud with his soulful, adult contemporary ballads: "This Time," the title track, and "On the Ocean," his breakout hit, which has become a sort of R&B version of Christopher Cross's "Sailing," in terms of nautical theme and mellow feel.
Even when K'Jon got into dance cuts, he kept things mature: "After the Club" and "What's Really Good" both contained distorted background vocals a la T-Pain, but the effect was achieved with a Teddy Riley-style talk box.
The only problem with K'Jon's set was the length -- he only offered up only nine songs before taking off. But, it was hard to be mad at him -- now that K'Jon has everyone's attention, he has to keep us wanting more.
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