Kero One

Early Believers

by Andrew Martin

16 April 2009

cover art

Kero One

Early Believers

(Plug Label)
US: 7 Apr 2009
UK: 6 Apr 2009

Three years after his critically-lauded debut, San Francisco rapper-producer Kero One is back with another fresh jazz-hop album in Early Believers. But his recording absence brought more than just “another” record as this is clearly the mark of a maturing, secure, and confident artist. Oh, and a supremely talented one at that. It’s just unfortunate that across this solid sophomore effort his overly positive message becomes tiresome and preachy.

For example, a track like “This Life Ain’t Mine” should be a standout, particularly because of the layered, synth-driven production. But Kero drags it down on the mic by dropping a few lyrical duds. This issue isn’t exactly commonplace on here, but it’s enough to sometimes lessen the impact of Kero’s message. And, for the most part, his conversational flow is both endearing and wholesome as he spits personal tales and uplifting sermons.

But he still has some work to do. His inconsistent time in the booth is balanced by his lush and sunny production that remains stellar across the 12 tracks, two of which were handled by King Most. There is nary a time on here when you are left unsatisfied when it comes to the sunny West Coast-bred production. Though his jazz-tinged beats are perfect for any occasion, they seem most fitting for a dreary Monday morning. From the poppy, joyous “When the Sunshine Comes” to the dancefloor-ready instrumental “A Song for Sabrina”, you would be hard-pressed to find a better means of kicking off your week.

Early Believers



We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article