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Album Spotlight: Kane Brown, ‘Kane Brown’

kane brown album cover
Joseph Llanes

If nothing else, fans are going to learn all about Kane Brown by listening to his self-titled debut album. It’s a project as vulnerable as any in 2016, and Brown shines when he’s telling his own stories.

Yet somehow, his stories are easy to make your stories. Even a song like “Learning” (“When I was six years old I kinda wet the bed / My stepdad came in and nearly beat me to death,” he sings) is accessible, as it’s one of great hope and inspiration. As he longs for his “Papa” during “Cold Spot,” we long for ours, too. “Grandaddy’s Chair” is another pure country ballad that recalls a grandparent. Sad nostalgia is something this 22-year-old Georgian is very capable of.

Nashville’s best songwriters helped Brown pen most songs on Kane Brown. That speaks to a collective belief in this shy singer-songwriter’s potential. There’s tremendous growth between this project and the five songs on his Chapter 1 EP (compare the lyrically sound, but clumsily produced “Used to Love You Sober” to a much more convincing “Thunder in the Rain” for one example).

While Brown has never been shy about sharing his story, he’s a more convincing storyteller now. There’s not a lot of subtlety on this album, but there’s variety. Love songs, heartbreakers, stories of abuse and a pledge to do his friends and family proud — Brown masters them all over top of rock, R&B and traditional country productions.

So often a debut album lacks depth and given Brown’s relative lack of experience that’d be forgivable. Quite the opposite is true on Kane Brown, however. It’s a rich, honest collection of songs that introduces a country singer that’s going to be around for awhile, with or without radio’s support.

Did You Know?: Florida Georgia Line (“Hometown”) and Chris Young (“Come Back”) helped Brown write songs on his debut album.

Key Tracks: “Hometown,” “Learning,” “Pull It Off,” “Cold Spot”

Kane Brown Credits Lauren Alaina for Discovering Him

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