Album Review: Brian Keane ‘Coming Home’
With his uncanny ability to write songs that appeal to regular folks coupled with the success of his previous album "90 Miles an Hour," Brian Keane has become one of Texas music's favorite songwriters. And he's taken his craft to the next level with the release of "Coming Home."
The follow-up to Keane's debut effort is laden with radio-ready songs. 'Coming Home' opens with 'You Can't Go Home', and it gives the impression that the opening track bridges the new album with the ongoing theme of '90 Miles an Hour'. Opening with:
I grew up in a small town
Rolling hills and two lane roads
Friday night football
Biking trails and skipping stones
I took all that stuff, when I turned 18
Put it in my rear view mirror
And headed up the road
Oh, I wish I would have known
You can't go home again
'Eating For Two' gives an interesting, lighthearted perspective a panicked man preparing to be a father for the first time. The hook, 'She's eating for two, and I'm drinking for three', is country genius.
'Bar Lights' is slower, and addresses the subject of a fizzling relationship, including a plea to get back to the good times when the couple in the story were happy.
'What You're Missing' is a dark cheating song. I've said it a million times: I wish country radio sounded more like this. Keane tells this the story with fantastic lyrics and a great hook (as usual), but I think 'Missing' shows growth in Keane's singing/songwriting ability.
The title track to 'Coming Home' is a ballad with a happy, self-explanatory message of someone who's been on the road too long, looking forward to getting back to the place he loves. I expected 'Old With You' to be another ballad, but the Cory Morrow co-write is as upbeat as anything, and left me with a smile on my face.
I love 'Do Something Wrong', and I can't wait to see how it translates to a full-band live show. 'Easy To Say Goodbye' is such a good radio single, and possesses what might turn out to be the signature Brian Keane sound. I'm not sure if that sound exists at this point in his career, but 'Goodbye' feels so effortless and familiar, I just get the impression that Keane could get away with putting a song just like it on every album he ever releases until the end of time.
The message in these songs aren't much different from a lot of the songs you hear on Texas country airwaves. The difference is in the quality. Like many singer/songwriters, Keane writes a lot about being on the road, the bar, relationships, heartache and small-town life. Brian just does it better. And by the end of 2014, don't be surprised if we're looking at 'Coming Home' as one of the best albums of the year.
Whether he's writing for himself, other Lone Star State musicians or co-writing a hit with one of his friends, Keane has a way of writing that's similar to having a conversation with a buddy at the bar. This should come as no surprise to anybody who's had the good fortune of meeting Brian, because he's about the nicest, most easy-going, friendly guy you'll meet. This trait glows in his music.
"Coming Home" Track Listing:
1. You Can't Go Home
2. Eating For Two
3. Bar Lights
4. What You're Missing
5. Finally Free
6. Coming Home
7. Old With You
8. Do Something Wrong
9. Easy To Say Goodbye
10. Nothin' Short Of Disaster