I was first introduced to Christian Kane in the 2005 indie film "Her Minor Thing." (Cute, but won't knock your socks off). There was something about his slow drawl and easy acting that drew me in. From that point on I kept an eye out for other acting projects he was involved in, up to and including his current stint as Eliot on "Leverage". Somewhere along the line I heard that he was a singer as well, and had a band that had recorded a couple of CDs. I saw the video for "The House Rules" and then heard part of "Let Me Go", which was enough for me to purchase a copy of his CD, called "The House Rules." While Christian is never going to win any awards for his voice, the CD didn't disappoint (except for the last song). He definitely has a honky-tonk edge, and I was pleased to see that he co-wrote most of the songs on the CD, always a big plus for me. Here's my review:
1. The House Rules
The lead single that got some airplay on the radio and CMT, but didn't do much on the charts. This is definitely an introduction to Christian and his band as a loud honky tonk bar band. There are some rules for their establishment, some a little risqué, so you need to read them before you come in, and be ready to have a good time.
2. Something's Gotta Give
A quieter song about the desperation many people face when living in a small town without a lot of prospects. Work is hard to find, and it always seems like other people get the breaks you would love to have. There's a great line near the end of the song that pretty much sums it up:
"And the tumbleweeds, they seem to know more than me.
Oh they always find their way right out of town
They never turn back,
They keep on rolling and they don't slow down."
3. Thinking of You
Depending on how you look at this it's either a song about devotion or obsession. She's gone, but he's not really ready to let go. Every song she hears, every time she cries, every memory she has is because he's thinking of her. No matter how far away she gets, he'll have an impact on her life.
4. Whiskey in Mind
This song has emerged as my favorite song on the CD. Up-tempo, rockin' honky tonk sound, fun vocals to sing along to. He goes into the bar to take his mind off his troubles when the woman at the end of the bar buys him a shot of his favorite brand of whiskey. He asks her how she knew his brand; she tells him that there are some things a woman just knows. Besides, she's got more than whiskey in mind for the evening.
5. Let's Take a Drive
She's just gotten out of a long-term relationship, and she believes that the wild girl she was at 17 is long gone. He's doing everything he can to convince her that the wild child is still there, taking her for a long drive and reliving the excitement of their youth.
6. Callin' All country Women
He's been in Hollywood for a quite a few years, and while the local women are beautiful and successful, he'd really like it if they traded their Manolo Blahniks for jeans and cowboy boots.
7. American Made
Another take on the songs praising all types of American women. From Oklahoma to Tennessee to Seattle (yeah!), they're all a little different, but all are "American Made", loving apple pie, cold beer and a ball game.
8. Let Me Go
It's always interesting to me when the title/theme of a song can apply to different situations. In this case a young man is telling his girlfriend to let him go - she needs to finish college and he's no good for her, so he's leaving town to find a better life. She calls his bluff; she knows that he's just scared to get too close. She wants him to let her go along with him, wherever life takes them.
9. Seven Days
She's been gone for a week, so of course that means that seven should be the number to bet on. He's sold everything and is heading to Las Vegas to see if lady luck and destiny can turn his life around.
10. Making Circles
"Well our love story reads like a book of lies
Good intentions, better alibis"
When a song starts out like this you know it can't be good. Nothing in the relationship is easy, and all of their arguments/discussions seem to circle right back to where they started.
11. Fast Car
Oh honey, this wasn't your best choice. A long-haired redneck covering a song written and recorded by a black woman, which is so closely associated with her? Even your vocals sound like you're trying to match her version. I gave it a shot, but I skip this one when listening to the CD.