the great hum
The 2011 album “A Good Enough Time For Change” by Kent trio, The Great Hum, is similar to an estranged 90’s karaoke song or cover band that plays in the shadows of your company’s summer picnic.
There’s an underlying emotional tension that is prevalent in the music with titles such as “Apple” and lyrics, “There’s some darkness in this sunny little garden, for each trembling little leaf, there’s a shadow hiding underneath, dying to be free”. However, the sentimental value of the utter darkness and trickery (in which is symbolic by the “apple”) is not present in the overall composition of each song. Instead, there is a palm-tree pow-wow atmosphere that lingers, paired with singalong jam songs that exude slight electric flare.
The vocal attributes are not quite convincing when it comes to the anger and betrayal that one might actually feel from getting ‘bitten by the apple’. There is a certain level of optimism and hope that exists throughout the entire album. Sad isn’t quite sad enough, momentum isn’t quite fierce enough…The Great Hum needs more evidence for their convictions.
The eleventh song “Bird in a Box” exclaims “Why can’t I just break free from you” but, nothing seems pushed far enough to break free. The totality of the lyrics and music play it safe and do not go outside of the box. But for a gung-ho fan that could empathize with The Great Hum’s message, it would be pretty easy to follow. Innovative additions are marked by the use of harmonica in “Up to This” and the dobro in “Seaworthy”. Both add a folk element to the campfire setting that allows people to gather around and relate to. “What’s Around the Bend” is an empathetic melody reinforced with optimism. But, again, the potential of the vocals could be strengthened.
All in all, it needs more evidence. The Great Hum should hum more and sing less, or sing more and hum less. Create an all-encompassing hummm…or else take their own advice, being that, it’s “A Good Enough Time For Change”. Out with the old, and, in with the new!