Discover All The Hoopla Of Country Pop Sensation Kane Brown By Visiting His Musical Roots On ‘Chapter 1 – EP’

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 6 mins read

Full disclosure – being mixed myself (Black and White), I have rooted on a purely ‘relatable’ level for the similarly bi-racial Country artist Kane Brown. Why on Earth would any of my interest be based off of race? Because Kane Brown’s ascension is tied to a genre of music that is not without its bigoted moments. Yes, we have the classic success of Charley Pride on the one hand, and the more modern success of Darius Rucker holding Country down while being black, and I actually wouldn’t want to know if any of these two artists hit road blocks because of their ethnicity along the way. All of our mottos should be ‘If it sounds good, enjoy it.’ But being an American, and knowing what Americans are capable of, man, you never know how someone really feels based off of skin color and vernacular. So hell yeah, whether I’m wrong or right, I naturally wanted Kane Brown to succeed, for what could be coined as the progressive movement. I’m all for people of different backgrounds exploring more musical genres than those which are associated with their groups, feel me? When some white dudes truly shine at Funk, or even inadvertently fool the world into thinking that they are a different ethnicity through their sheer respect for the source material (look on the internet for black folks who assumed caucasian Bobby Caldwell was a black singer), by the same theory, black folks with a love for Country can tackle it in with the same respect to its source material. Here, even on this debut album Chapter 1 – EP, Kane Brown resists incorporating your standard R&B Soul vocalization or vernacular, instead choosing to sing low, deep, and twangy just like your favorite old fashioned Country singers. You would never know this young man’s specific background without the accompanying images. He is committed to Country tradition, at least vocally, yet, I am pretty sure that anyone who doesn’t dig him is not responding to anything trivial such as his race, and more so for the very Pop-ified nature of his core songwriting. I actually can stomach these 6 songs when I compare them to most of the trite music I hear within the successful sub genre known as Country Pop, yet, I would be lying if I did not admit that there is something a little shallow about the formulas here on display. Still, for a first effort, this is a noble effort, finding its audience, and paving the way for an already successful career. Old fashioned voice aside, this is the music of now.

The Music Of ‘Now’ Is Accessible, And In This Regard, Kane Brown Delivers

“Wide Open” hits with that big hook quality – which makes your whole body sway thanks to dreamy chords, banjo percussion, and soaring warm vocals. It is an adventurous sound, not only speaking on the open road of love, but sounding like it, with the big power chords and sense of endless possibilities. In my opinion, there is no better way to start an album – especially your first. Escapism is the theme here – whether the escapists are a couple, or a group of high school friends – the energy is intact and universal, as I can sing along with the lyrics and capture some of the spirit which I felt when I was 17; “We put the gas to the floor / yeah, we hit it wide open / two-lane highway rolling / with no one around, slowing us down / radio loud, had the speakers all blowing / dials wide open.” Why does Country music make for the best road trip music? Just something about it I guess. On “Used to Love You Sober”, the trope of drinking shows up yet again (so basically, America drinks a lot), showcasing both Kane Brown’s super low register, but also his high register as well – which is probably the first actual indication of Brown’s true range. He can go anywhere – which is interesting for the fact that many initial negative comments about the artist claimed he couldn’t sing? Ridiculous. The brotha has range. This is a break up song, and the narrator, in anguish over a sudden turn in the relationship, falls into his cups. Pretty decent track, but pretty predictable as well, which is mostly unavoidable in the genre of Country Pop.

Country Pop That Shows The Possibilities Of Country Pop

I get it. Trust me I do. This is not Traditional Country. It has the twang, and the instrumentation, but no doubt about it, the arrangements lean absolutely to Pop structure. Every hook slams into this big event that can sometimes have you scratching your head, saying ‘was that really warranted?” Exploding into a hook just cus’, and bypassing years of more advanced songwriting from a plethora of genres. I admit, I’m sort of ‘meh’ when it comes to the track “There Goes My Everything.” Way too predictable. The measures couldn’t be any duller, and Kane Brown’s voice in the measures, set as low as it can go, sounds moronic to me, while the very canned and swirling electronic beat sounds like anybody else’s. Not a bad song per se, but a pretty generic one. Thankfully, there are saving graces with respect to “Last Minute Late Night” and its unstoppable, perpetual sound, which fines the right synergy between Country Rock and Pop cruise music. I could actually envision hearing this on the same playlist with a NAV song (of hazy Toronto Hip Hop fame), as it captures that youthful exuberance and club worthy vibration. Speaking of low voices that work though, for some reason, Kane Brown’s low register kills the completion on “Excuses”, a sleeper hit that starts very subtle and simple but transforms into a beefy loud ‘are you cheating on me b****” ballad which caries some ample emotional weight because of the sheer volume and emotion at hand. Again, Kane Brown displays his ability to hit both the lowest and highest ranges within one song, and it is here where all elements work out swimmingly. The verdict on the album? One hell of a way to begin one’s career. Anybody following Country will note that this young man has won over the audience, and my only recommendation to him would be to further separate his sound from commercial Country Pop now that he already has cut albums under his belt. Surprise me Kane Brown.

2. Track List (5)

3. Official (5)

4. Live (2)

5. Featuring Remixes

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9. Album Info

Songwriter

  • Kane Brown