Coming A Out A Year After His Self Titled Album, Kane Brown (Deluxe Edition) Adds Four More Tracks For Your Modern Country Enjoyment
While I’m not blown away by the sounds of Modern Country, I feel like giving my brotha Kane Brown another spin and revisiting his self titled album now that it adds several songs to the experience. The deep baritone is still intact, and while I have heard some commentators complain that the young man sounds pretty flat here and there, I would say that in the low register where he is most powerful and compelling – and that is his whole modus operandi anyways listening to his catalogue. Vocally speaking, of any of the new artists on the scene, I actually find Kane Brown’s to sound very traditional and masculine, and therefore don’t understand some of the hate, saying he is not Country, etc. Hell – are they even listening to this cat’s serious cowboy drawl? Sometimes it can sound borderline caricature, like actor Sam Elliot singing in a Coen Brothers’ western themed dark comedy. Of course, there are plenty of alternative examples of Kane Brown going the other direction depending on the demands of the track; on “Hometown”, the energy is explosive and club-worthy, with the singer aiming for higher notes on the celebratory hooks which better match the distinct mix of Electronica and Rock rhythm. And on an even poppier example “What Ifs”, Kane Brown can be heard employing both singing high and low styles on one individual track – which may not be my favorite arrangement on Kane Brown (Deluxe Edition), but is definitely a worthy example of his exciting brand of Country Pop. Mind you, this isn’t the type of music that I would personally bump, even if I had a Tacoma truck, but I can certainly see it’s mainstream appeal, as in this regard, most of the tracks get the job done.
A Young Country Singer With A Fresh Look And Fresh Raps As Well
With a song like “Learning”, I noticed several factors that make this song stand out. First, Kane Brown’s range is really on display here, which should shut up any haters out there, as his vocals are warm, twinged with a little rasp, and slide easily between high and low notes, and in addition, this is one of the first times I’ve actually noticed what one could dub ‘the Country-Rap’ aspect of Kane Brown’s vocal arsenal. His is distinct here, because he mixes a matter of fact delivery with a twinge of afro centric accenting that is not strong but definitely present. He raps about interesting personal takes on survival, identity and acceptance that I find pretty intriguing as well, where his story starts with domestic abuse meted out by his abusive father, and then transitions to the next chapter of trouble in his life; “got new problems now, like tryna fit in / getting looked down on just because of your skin / it's bad enough, I can't afford them clothes / got high water's on with holes in my sole.” In regard to rap deliveries, I am of the opinion that if you are going to rap, you must include a little bit of Soul or risk not being taken seriously by Hip Hop listeners, and too often, Country Pop acts don’t consider this, instead feeling that they can deliver their Rap verses any damn way they please. Sure, audiences who don’t listen to Rap won’t know any better, but just as British rockers like The Rolling Stones accented their vocals to compete with the elder Black Blues artists that they grew up on, Country artists must keep Soul in mind, which I feel Kane Brown does naturally on “Learning.” On another track, while his voice is a low drawl unlike anything Keith Urban could achieve, the moody and uptempo Pop arrangement on “Thunder in the Rain” here could totally be an Urban song, as it mixes old and modern instrumentation through digital and banjo rhythms. It has all of the sexy ingredients of an Urban song as well, and while the lyrics are a little cliché, they are very effective when delivered in Brown’s confident style; “you're fire, I'm lightning / we're burning at the core / falling and crashing / girl we're a perfect storm.” With songs like these, Kane Brown has definitely positioned himself as one of Country music’s newest sex symbols.
If I’ve Heard It Once, I’ve Heard It A Million Times
Not that I am a Country Pop connoisseur, but I feel l have heard the structure of several of Kane Brown’s tracks here far too many times elsewhere, as if the Nashville Machine (I’m assuming they had some hand in this) just creates thousands, if not millions of variations of the same track in three varieties – downtempo, midtempo, and uptempo, and just matches the beat with the hot face/voice, irregardless of any other metric but to make money off of the trend. It actually reminds me of the way Hip Hop has been for a long time now – just producing beats after beats and brokering said beats to whoever has the biggest following at the moment. Should Country music, with its history of live instrumentation, really go that route? Well, while there’s a market for such formulas that must be exploited, let’s hope the trend doesn’t last too long, as three tracks here in particular are amazingly dull, even backed by a bunch of volume; “Pull It Off”, “Rockstars”, and “Found You.” “Pull It Off” just sounds really fake to me, like it borrows from the most basic idea of Hard Rock but contains nothing really authentic for itself. The only part I like is where Kane Brown adds some soulful color on the “she puts it on and on and on and on and on, because she knows she can pull it off.” By far the dopest lyrical part and delivery, as it juxtaposes the on and off sexiness of clothes – and ultimately is very sexy and complimentary to special woman’s ability to ‘pull off’ anything outfit that she puts on. Still, the track here is too on-the-nose to take seriously. “Rockstars” chooses the same power chord attack and dull cyclical banjo digital rhythm as just about any other Pop song I’ve heard like it, and I honestly feel nothing for this nostalgic look back at young love. “Found You” has a big problem with its lyrical content, lazily juxtaposing the misery he would have continued to feel if he hadn’t gone to a party I where he found the dirk of his dreams – I think. There seem to be lots of double negatives present in the writing, plus much of it is an info dump, rather than smooth poetic storytelling. There are some really garbled up passages as well; “and now I'm thinking 'bout the way I said I wish I've never met her / sometimes the things that don't work out / couldn't work out any better.” What?! First of all, are you with her or not? And if you’re not, are you happy about that or not? Other batshit lines; “no I'd have never found you / at that random house party that I didn't even wanna go to.” If why bro? If you had just stayed in the bar and continued to be miserable, then you’d be happier. Huh?
What Value Do The Bonus Tracks Add?
So where the normal Kane Brown album ends on a pretty delightful song “Granddaddy’s Chair”, a super old fashioned song with a low rumbling voice set to surprisingly modern Trap rhythms – the here on the Kane Brown (Deluxe Edition) version album benefits somewhat from four additional tracks named “Setting the Night On Fire”, “What’s Mine Is Yours”, “Found You”, and finally “Heaven.” I do think that these tracks add to the canon that is Kane Brown, showing off some new aspects, especially on the high volume sound of ultra modern Country track “Setting the Night On Fire”, where Kane Brown shows off more vocal range than his low register – an indication I feel of his evolution as a singer. This is the first time where I decide that this gentleman can sing in almost any style he sets his mind to – which will help him as an artist moving forward. “What’s Mine Is Yours” unfortunately is a super boring ballad that pretends to be epic but is absolutely devoid of true emotion. “Found You” as previously mentioned is such a cheap and formulaic track, amounting to lots of redundant barking at the perpetual Rock beat yet nowhere is there any true sense of though out or thought provoking songwriting. It’s just this pseudo dark droning County Rock piece that I would never ever want to listen to twice. At least the tone and melody starts off a little bit more adventurous on the final track “Heaven”, but unfortunately, in the same way the song disintegrates into grabbing at emotional straws, ultimately lacking a core melody that is strong enough to carry the song. So, yes, now we can see why these songs may have not made the cut originally, but I must offer the fact that – if you are already a Kane Brown devotee, then a few extra tracks won’t bother you none.
2. Track List (15)
3. Official (15)
4. Live (8)
5. Featuring Remixes (1)
7. Similar Albums (2)
8. Similar Artists (14)
9. Album Info
- Kane Brown