Shannon K debuted with her first solo single in 2014 at the tender age of 12 with a song written by her younger sister, Annabel K. In 2016 she dropped another critically acclaimed single entitled “Sapphire”. And now, at the tender old age of 16, Shannon K, uncovers her latest gem – her full-length album “Perpetual”. Shannon K, who was born in India and moved to London at the age of 6, is the daughter of multiple award-winning Bollywood singing legend, Kumar Sanu. Shannon K is making a statement with her first album. That being said, I was strangely surprised upon hearing “Perpetual”. Whereas many of her peers and contemporaries have been transformed into new creatures with breakaway bangers and Lolita images, Shannon K matures her sound while still remaining true to who she is.
As Shannon K sheds light on her path from a child prodigy to a young adult girl with the usual teen problems and anxieties, she chooses to remain a bright, classy, understanding young woman by taking the high road and moving on by living her own life and dreams. It fact she could so easily be the shining ‘sapphire’ she once sang about in her song of the same title.
“Perpetual”, which was released on May 5th, 2017, listens more like 9 individual singles than a distinct, thematic record — where each song has the potential to get radio play. The structure of “Perpetual” is big, and its production is studded and shimmering; in other hands, it would sound petulant or pretentious.
But Shannon K sounds simultaneously winsome, coy and introspective, and it works. She’s best when her production recognizes her malleability as a thematic center rather than something to be stretched awkwardly across a ballad or propped up with a beat.
Having said that, every pop album needs a true power ballad, and it comes in the form of “Running“. The piano-driven effort is a simple, emotional expression of Shannon K’s feelings towards a previous relationship, is a commendable effort, the finished product makes a strong enough impact to be remembered long after the first listen.
The artist’s vocals are quite lovely and soar with angst in all the right places. This is quite possibly my favorite song on the album. The track is followed by the catchy single “Lately”. It is an inspiring, pop anthem with a repetitive pop hook.
The tone and seductive nature of Shannon K’s voice is turned up on “I Believe“, a track about the power of love which has a strong spiritual aura about it. “Lonely Here” represents the last of the slower tempo songs, before the album takes a sharp right turn towards upbeat dance material. The series kicks off with the uplifting “Alive” and then expands into the dance-floor anthem “So Good” before slowing down on the eclectic rhythm of “Summer Comes”.
The Latin flavor that sounds like it comes from a Jennifer Lopez or Shakira album, on “Slow Down”, forges a potent club-ready beat, and the inclusion of intriguing, supporting brass instrumentation comes off as a fun, carefree effort where Shannon K so easily expresses her performance spontaneity. If I was the ‘commanding officer’ in charge of Shannon K’s career development, this song, along with “Running”, would without any doubt have been my single release choices.
“Slow Down” would have been my happy-go-lucky summer release choice, and then I would have followed that up with “Running” for the upcoming cuddly winter season. Unfortunately you can’t have your cake, and eat it! So I’ll just eat mine, thanks.
“Perpetual” is a commendable overall effort. Shannon K is putting her growing maturity and not that silly ‘too grown up to be a girl’ image, at the forefront of her music career, and her crystalline honesty certainly pays off. All throughout the album, the sultry pop jams allow her vocal performances to shine, while she keeps plenty of room for the dance/pop tunes too. You’ll love this!