Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christian Kane, "Let Me Go"

Songwriters:  Casey Beathard, Tom Shapiro

Though one of his biggest claims to fame is acting on television programs such as Leverage, Angel, and Into the West, Christian Kane's other major pursuit has long been singing country music.  His first U.S. single release, a somewhat over-the-top party anthem called "The House Rules," failed to make a major impact on the country charts.  Now he returns with a follow-up single for another go at the charts.

"Let Me Go" is a fairly straightforward by-the-book tale of a restless soul who's "nothing but a drifter," and who tells his woman that he's ready to hit the road.  It begins by detailing the setting in which the exchange takes place between the two lovers, which helps to raise interest in the story at the beginning.  But the lyrics never really get sufficiently interesting.  Christian is dealing with a well-worn theme - a man torn between his woman and the open road.  By offering a simple surface-level telling of the story, the song fails to approach the theme from a fresh angle of its own.  Thus, what's here feels too familiar to be genuinely engaging.  The story takes a turn near the end as the woman implores her man to "Let Me Go," as in go with him, thus reversing the song's title phrase.  That development, however, ends up feeling gratuitous and tacked-on, not adding much interest.

As if to compensate for the lightweight lyrical material, producers Bob Ezrin and Jimmy Lee Sloas lay on the heavy rock guitars, but this is one instance when the hard rock edges don't do the song any favors.  It nearly masks the fact that Christian turns in a strong performance on this track, sounding fully invested in the lyrics.  It's a redeeming quality that might have saved the song had it been able to shine without so much distraction.

This single has its strong points, but ultimately the train just doesn't quite leave the station.  "Let Me Go" simply lacks enough unique defining characteristics to merit much repeat listening.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)