Album Review: Kane Brown - “Different Man”

Already holding three big hits inside of it in "One Mississippi," "Grand" and "Like I Love Country Music," "Different Man" is a record that finds Kane Brown at the top of his game as he enters superstar territory.

With each of his albums, Kane Brown has matured as an artist as a songwriter and, most-importantly, as a person. From free-wheeling young man to husband and father, the man has already lived A LIFE and he chronicles it all on his third album Different Man.

The album comes out on the heels of the pre-release chart-topping hits “One Mississippi” and “Like I Love Country Music” along with “Leave You Alone” and rising pop radio hit “Grand.” The title track sits second on the album and it’s a roaring collaboration between Kane Brown and Blake Shelton where both vow to be different than others out there, you know, made to be the men they are, storytelling songwriters, singers and entertainers. The melody comes off as something very “Imagine Dragons”-like and I’m here for this collaboration and hope there’s a future radio single for the song (or at least a CMA or ACM or Grammy performance of it as the melody and story feel very visual). The clever lyrics of “Like I Love Country Music” allows Kane to show off the natural nasal country quality in his voice. It’s a quality he’s work hard to harness throughout his career and he’s really grown into the unique qualities he possesses (that is he’s a disarmingly versatile vocalist).

There’s a haunting steel guitar-drenched melody and fiddle instrumental break in “Go Around” that showcases how modern country music can retain these classic country touchstones while also being both modern and anthemic at the same time. This song is backed up by “Grand” a song which is clearly a pop song, so much so that Kane’s not promoting it to country music radio. It’s a song which champions his life and how good it has been to him and how he’s overcome the haters and his own self-sabotage moods. It’s about living life to it’s fullest and not living in negative spaces. It’s a sentiment that more people should live to.

There’s a sweet moment on Different Man from Kane in the form of a duet with singer/songwriter wife Katelyn on “Thank God.” It’s acoustic melody shows off their relationship and how they’re both better people for their relationship and partnership together. It’s going to be a song that’s used by a lot of people at their weddings for the foreseeable future and it’s definitely going to be another big chart-topping hit for Kane (and give his talented wife her first).

There are a couple of groove-filled potential hits in “See You Like I Do,” “Nothin’ I’d Change” and “Drunk Or Dreamin’” and it’s easy to see why they ended up on this record. The first one’s so infectious and might be the best song that Ne-Yo never wrote or released. It actually could be another pop chart hit for Kane but this one, unlike “Grand,” could be a country hit too. “Nothin’ I’d Change” finds Kane in 90s/2000s country mode on the groovy love song while “Drunk Or Dreamin’” has a slinky, latin vibe to it that just gets one lost in the music a la a classic Strait song.

If you take a look at the trajectory of Kane Brown’s career, he’s an artist who has built upon his success step by step. One of the first true viral breakouts of country music, Kane Brown has hit the apex of his career to date with Different Man, a career where he's now headlining (and selling out) arenas worldwide with no signs of slowing down.