One listen to the first two tracks of Make Sure They See My Face, and you’ll have this album pegged. “Daylight” and “Out of Control (State of Emotion)” soar with Coldplay and U2 earnestness with a touch of Bloc Party and retro-80s production. But by the time you reach track four you’ll be scratching your head. “Say Goodbye to Love” (the first single) sounds like it is an outtake from FutureSex/LoveSounds, which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s the best song JT never wrote.
Kenna spends the album bouncing back and forth between these two styles, but never really gets too deep into either. And therein lies the rub. Make Sure They See My Face only scratches the surface of indie rock and danceable beats. Kenna doesn’t delve deeper into either style, to keep the interest of the average listener, which is the album’s audience.
There are definitely some fine moments on the record, as previously mentioned, “Say Goodbye to Love” and “Out of Control”, but also the Killers-esque “Baptized in Blacklight” and the Radiohead-esque “Better Wise Up”. Kenna’s influences are easy to spot, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and neither is this record.