2015 Next Big Thing in Christian Music award winner and newest member of Christian Band "Anthem Lights", Spencer Kane, releases his 3rd studio project titled KANE.
Quickly becoming a Christian music fan favorite, Spencer's new sound paves the way for a more Pop R&B niche in Christian music. Similar to fellow artist Hollyn, Spencer's new album (releasing July 2016) combines his soulful and smooth vocals with a pop urban sound found in Top 40 music while lyrically sharing a powerful message to fellow teens and young adults.
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Funky and Fresh| Posted July 29, 2016
Since the announcement that 19-year-old Spencer Kane would replace Alan Powell as Anthem Lights' new lead singer, he has been incredibly busy: releasing a cover album and multiple music videos with fellow members of Anthem Lights, touring all around the country and recording his latest solo endeavor, Kane. As someone who doesn't listen to Anthem Lights' style too often, I was absolutely floored by this album.
The memorable opening number "God Stole My Heart" steals the heart of every listener. The rhythmic and catchy beats deviate from CCM pop, the genre for which Anthem Lights is famous. It is always refreshing to hear an up-and-coming singer in this industry experimenting with innovation in their music. In addition, "Love a Lil Bit" takes the funk a step further with creative and dissonant harmonies. Because of this song, I'd even go so far as to say Spencer Kane has the potential to be the tobyMac of the next generation.
"Diagram" provides the perfect city soundtrack with jazzy piano chords, light percussion and reverb to die for. Kane sings about how God's plan is always better than our own: "Nothing I could do without Your love / Out in this world it gets so rough... / When I need a plan, You draw it out for me." The tight harmonies in the bridge are worth buying the entire song.
The unassuming "You'll Be Alright" breathes new life into the Christian dubstep scene, an area which has been lacking recently. The bass drop catches the listener by surprise while the encouraging message behind the song serves as the icing on the cake. On the other side of the vast spectrum of Kane's vocal ability lies the astounding "New Level," which happens to be my personal favorite. I've never heard a song quite like this one. It is the ultimate smooth, Christ-centered R&B song! With arcade-like retro synths and an insane bass line, listeners will be left clamoring for more.
Kane channels his inner Shonlock in "Breakthrough," a poppy, treadmill-ready track. It embodies the Christ-follower's revelation that Jesus is more than enough: "I needed something to hold / You wanted my life to mold / That's why I gave it to You." The beautifully rendered cover of "This Is Living" gives the Young & Free classic a new spin by adding ambient synths underneath pretty piano chords. This is definitely not the last we will hear of Alexis Slifer. Her powerful vocal harmonies are absolutely gorgeous.
The only disappointments of this album come from the following two tracks. Although the message of God's redemption is great in "Betrayed," it sounds painfully overproduced, and there seems to be a lack of balance between Kane's vocals and everything else. In "We Win," although it is encouraging in its focus on victory through Christ, the verses and the bass drops sound like they're from two completely different genres and songs. If the song as a whole had been tied together musically, the message would have been 100% more effective.
The synthesizer in "Ghost" makes the entire song and creates a driving beat all on its own. Izze's autotuned rap adds a wonderfully unexpected twist to the bridge. And the remix of "Heart Like You" sounds almost like a David Thulin remix with all the sliced vocal effects. The vocoder harmonies in the chorus and the voice-like synth throughout the song give it flair. It doesn't deviate far from the original version, which appeared on Kane's last solo album Runway.
The Bottom Line: Kane's bouncy and dance-y songs are where the project shines, and I believe Spencer Kane will go far if he sticks to R&B and dubstep.
Song to Download Now:
"New Level" (Get it on iTunes here.)