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Clean production, melodic music

Self Centered
Self Centered
By Kenny Eng

Self-released: 2008

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This review first appeared in the August 7, 2008 issue of the North County Times.

Local singer-songwriter Kenny Eng's debut is a bit of an oddity in the current singer-songwriter environment: He actually plays on record with roughly the same setup as he does in his shows at county coffee houses: Guitar. Voice. The only additional instruments he dragged into the studio are a cello on two tracks to add some low-end depth, and producer Aaron Bowen's own acoustic guitar. Otherwise, this six-song EP is how you'd hear Eng when he's playing live.

With more and more singer-songwriters dressing their recordings up with all kinds of gear they never bring to a show, it's refreshing experience to hear a CD that reflects the artist's live show.

It's a solid performance here, too: Eng has an expressive voice, and his half-dozen songs all have a pleasant vibe to them. It's a mellow sort of folk-rock, but with definite elements of alternative. Eng clearly values melody, and has a good knack at turning them out.