Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Overall, a rather decent first solo-album.
on 16 May 2014
"Home” is the debut solo-album by Irish singer Kian Egan, a former member of Westlife, the British boyband who disbanded in 2012. Although I’m not in the boyband-demographic, I didn’t dislike their songs either, so after hearing his version of Daughtry’s “Home,” I decided to give this CD a chance. Doing covers, you either should do creative takes on the originals or have the vocals to do these classics justice. “Home” falls somewhere in the middle. Kian puts his own spin on them, but while some of the covers are very good, others don’t work out that well. But let’s not get ahead of myself.
The songs covered are: “Home” (Daughtry); “What Hurts The Most” (Mark Willis); “The Reason” (Hoobastank); “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar); “I Run To You” (Lady Antebellum); “I’ll Be” (Edwin McCain); “I’m Ready” (Bryan Adams); “Waiting For Superman” (Daughtry); “Here Without You” (3 Doors Down) and “Wanted” (Hunter Hayes).
Let’s go over them one by one: his slightly country-fied version of rock-ballad “Home” is well-suited to his somewhat husky voice (5 stars). This is also the case in pop-ballad “What Hurts The Most,” beautifully supported by a string section. It was first written for American country artist Mark Willis, but is probably better known in the USA in the Rascall Flatts-version, while in Europe the German band Cascade had a big hit with their take on it (4.5 stars). The rock-ballad “The Reason” (4 stars) and piano-ballad “Not A Day Goes By” (4 stars) are also very decent covers.
Another highlight on the album is country-pop track “I Run To You,” a beautiful duet with his wife, Jodi Albert (5 stars). “I’ll Be” is another good example of picking a song that’s compatible with his smoky vocals, although this one didn’t completely work for me (four stars). As his voice is slightly reminiscent of Bryan Adams, it’s fitting he also covers a song from the Canadian rocker. The one he picked, "I’m Ready,” although doing it in a more ballad-ish version, makes it clear he lacks the necessary rock-grit to bring it completely off (3 stars).
Vocally, his weak point seems to be that he can’t hit the higher notes very well. This makes his voice better suited to the slower ballads as mentioned above. Case in point: my favorite Daughtry-song “Waiting For Superman,” which starts out well but soon made my toes curl in horror, turning this one into the worst cover on the album (1 star). He goes for a rockier version of “Here Without You,” decent enough in places but again, he lacks the necessary rock-grit to make it fully work out (3 stars). He closes the album well, with the piano- and strings-laced country-ballad “Wanted” (5 stars).
Although he plays it too safe with doing a cover-album instead of an all-originals one, this record is, overall, a rather decent debut. “Home” is a blend of styles, from pop to country to rock, with songs in the country-rock vein dominating (5 covers are from country-artists/-groups). He could have been a bit more daring in choosing what to cover. Also, the album is rather ballad-heavy, but then again, these are the type of songs that most suit his voice. ‘Cause a rocker, he ain’t. So, adding the points up (38.5) and dividing them by the 10 tracks, I come to an average of 3.85, hence the four stars.