Kenny Fame Presents New Single ‘Puzzle’

Kenny Frame’s single, “Puzzle,” is unusual in the best possible ways. It begins with a jazzy guitar part, before Fame begins talk-singing its lyrics. It’s the story of an outcast, and it’s told introspectively. It’s also effective in getting its serious message across.

The track’s instrumentation is sparse, which is both intentional and a wise choice. By limiting instrumentation, this approach lets us better focus on lyrics. The first lines talk about how the streets are “paved with broken glass,” which is sort of a harsh alternative to heaven’s description of having streets of gold. Fame mentions how he walks these sharp-object-strewn streets with bare feet. This recollection suggests he doesn’t have much of a chance of avoiding being hurt. He has no protection against the elements.

In the next series of lines, he recalls how his winter coat never kept him warm. Once again, he was relatively helpless. This time, though, he was not facing messes others had made, but dealing with Mother Nature’s whims, instead. These were not merely physical elements, however. Fame describes how winds of hate were blowing like an arctic storm. He could find nothing to keep him from experiencing the freezing feel of cold human treatment. Fame sings these feelings rather matter of fact-ly, as though he has been experiencing these troubles for a long time now and has just gotten around to putting his emotions into a song.

Next, he sings about the rude opinions he hears (about himself?), which are never nice. Our mothers warned us that if we don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. He’s been at the bitter end of people saying rude things, and it must sometimes feel like walking barefoot over broken glass, or going out in the cold without the kind of clothing that can keep a person warm.

Then when he sings about not having friends to play with growing up, one becomes immediately aware of how long term these emotional scars have been there for Fame. Children may never know the harm they do to others, especially ones that are like puzzle pieces that just don’t seem to fit in anyplace. Such was the fate of Fame.


Midway through the song, the beatless, jazzy guitar is replaced by actual percussion beats. Fame then sings about how he was “that puzzle piece that never fit.” The picture that accompanies this single is that of a small child. Perhaps this is a picture of Fame. It’s at least semi-biographical, one assumes, but it’s also a sort of warning. Everybody needs to feel like they belong in the world. This may involve people getting out of their comfort zones to make others feel more welcome. Kenny Fame’s story/song has a clear moral to it. It’s not the ill-shaped puzzle pieces that are responsible for finding a place where they fit. No, ones that may have already found their place in the world must stop only thinking about themselves and consider the needs of others. One is left with the impression that this song shouldn’t have needed to be written. Now that it’s done, though, let’s please do a better job of taking care of each other.

-Dan MacIntosh