K’naan caught my attention a couple of years ago with his album Troubadour and the song “Wavin’ Flag.” The album contained featured appearances from everyone from Chubb Rock to Adam Levine and cast K’naan firmly in between k-os and Wyclef Jean. He was a lot more obviously commercial than the former and a ton less sketchy than the latter. At any rate, the initial burst of success for K’naan was sustained by “Wavin’ Flag”‘s placement as the theme song for the 2010 World Cup.
Now, the rapper/singer is back, and he’s got Nelly Furtado in tow. “Is Anybody Out There?” is ridiculously anthemic. I can already see stadiums full of people singing along to this. Furtado sounds more full-voiced than she’s been…well, ever. I guess while we’re waiting for a new album from her (it’s been what, six years since Loose?) we’ll be OK with this. Simple pop doesn’t get much more immediate than this, folks.
“Is Anybody Out There” can be found on K’Naan’s EP More Beautiful Than Silence, which is out tomorrow.