Music Review: Kane – Spencer Kane

One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums and EPs from Christian artists and musicians in the UK and worldwide. Here we have Kane by Spencer Kane with an overall review score of 7.7 out of 10.

Album Information:

Spencer Kane is a 3 time award nominated and Billboard charting solo artist and FILM & TV actor born on October 26, 1996. In addition, he is the newest member of the Pop Group Anthem Lights based in Nashville.

Raised in a Christian home as a son of a Pastor, Spencer has been around musical influence in and out of the church world. His first professional recording was released in June 2011 and he has been recording in New York, Nashville, Chicago and Atlanta ever since.

Spencer signed a performance contract with iShine (Bema Media LLC) based in Nashville, Tennessee in June 2012 and concluded the term in June 2015. When he’s not performing at a concert or in front of a TV camera, he is an athlete having played basketball since age 4 and baseball since age 7. He is a devoted Christian and hopes his music will reach all ages with his positive lyrics and entertaining music.

Review:

So you haven’t heard of Spencer Kane yet? You will! Although this is his third solo release his music is yet to break in the UK, but in the US he is already a familiar face to the Christian community. He is a new lead singer of the band “Anthem Lights” and has also made regular appearances on the TBN iShine, more recently he has been seen as an uncredited cast member in “God’s Not Dead 2” and also “Camp Cool Kids” where he appears as himself, he is also a National Spokesperson on Anti-Bullying for PACER and a teen crisis prevention centre! Did I mention he’s only 19 years old?

His previous albums have been more in the EDM style but with this self-titled debut Spencer has moved into a Bieber-esque Pop/R’n’B style. So this album opens with “God Stole My Heart” which immediately sets the tone for what is to come, light, upbeat, fun and positive. With some very catchy beats and cultural references this track doesn’t shy away from being Christian and presenting the view that God is in the business of changing lives. This smoothly moves into “Love a Lil Bit”. This track puts the FUN into FUNK and turns it up to 11. This track will resonate with everyone who has been challenged by ‘cool’ people who think that being a Christian is madness. In this inherently cool track he proves that being a Christian can be cool and we just have to love a little bit!

“Diagram” is an opportunity for Spencer to show off his smooth vocals as He sings about trusting God to draw out the plans for us like a diagram and this frees us to truly live. This is a different style of track with an air of sophistication that allows the understated light piano to lead the way with multiple layers of percussion and vocal woven over the top. The focus of many of the tracks on this album are about living for something more, following God’s direction, but “You’ll Be Alright”. This track and “New Level” play into this theme despite being quite different styles. With a dubstep feel to “You’ll Be Alright” and a more R&B feel to “New Level” which also mixes in some extra retro-sounding synth sounds which could feel out of place in the wrong context, but they work well here and compliment the track.

For me the stand-out track on this album is “This Is Living” which takes that Hillsong Young & Free and brings the talent of Spencer and a guest female vocalist called Alexis Silfer – and if that name seems familiar, she is a former member of the girl-band The Rubyz and a solo artist in her own right. Stripping the music right back and focusing on the piano and vocals and importantly adding nothing extra, no synth sounds, no vocal effects, just the natural vocal purity of two artists performing a passionate song to the best of their abilities and it blows some of the other tracks that precede and some that follow out of the water because of it’s simplicity and beauty.

There are some great tracks on this album. It’s full of positivity and clever mixes and sound effects through tracks, this is probably the reason that “This is Living” stands out. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with the effects included here, but sometimes it’s a welcome relief to have a track that doesn’t rely on that. The danger too is that the producer can get carried away with the effects and over-produce a song that doesn’t need it. On this album “Betrayed” suffers from this affliction and a few of the others are on the edge of it.

This is a quirky album that will appeal to the younger listener and that’s great. There are a range of styles and it is clear that Spencer has the ability to pull them off. This is an artist that I think should be making an impression on the UK shores, and I hope that he can get something marketed across to the UK and possibly get a UK festival slot to raise his profile, because I think he would definitely gain a following quickly with the right promotion. So get ahead of the game and get his album today!

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