The House Rules

Christian Kane

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The House Rules Review

by Andrew Leahey

Christian Kane writes most of the material on his solo debut, which is essentially an expanded version of the self-titled EP he released six months earlier. Featuring all five of the EP’s tracks -- "House Rules," "Whiskey in Mind," "Let Me Go," "Making Circles," and "American Made" -- as well as a handful of newer numbers, it presents Kane as a confident (if somewhat typical) country-rock songwriter, with most of the songs telling familiar tales of Southern women, small-town bars, and party-filled weekends. Producer Bob Ezrin, famous for his work on landmark albums like The Wall and Kiss' Destroyer, handles the songs well, purposely roughing up the faster numbers and polishing the ballads with countrypolitan gloss. The result is a bar-band record with several slow-dance moments, including a faithful version of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” Kane could stand to work on his vocals -- during his saucier moments, he gets almost cartoonishly throaty -- but the strength of the material shows he has his head in the right place.

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