As one quarter of the phenomenally successful Irish boyband Westlife, Kian Egan had the world at his feet. Securing 14 number one singles over the course of a 14 year career that saw record sales in excess of 45 million, the lads rode a wave of success unlike any of their peers between 1998 and 2012. Sadly, Westlife decided to part ways in 2012, performing their final concert together in Dublin in June of 2012.
Following the split, fellow Westlifer Shane Filan released his moderately successful debut solo record and so pressure was understandably on the shoulders of the remaining members to churn out something for fans before they fell of the radar. Thankfully the work pedal has been firmly pushed down for Kian Egan with the crooner securing a judging spot on The Voice of Ireland following the Westlife split and taking home the crown in last year’s season of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. He has also been hard at work in the recording studio, putting down tracks to feature on a debut solo record of his own and he has recently unveiled that collection.
Home is Kian Egan’s first outing as a solo artist and gathers together a worthy track-listing of covers.
The album opens with the Chris Daughtry-penned title track and while the original was a country-fuelled rocker for the American Idol chart-toppers, Kian delivers his version of the number with an equal amount of gusto as he swings his vocals around a rich production full of Americana influenced guitar riffs and a spectacular orchestral arrangement that provides the spine to the power-ballad quality of the track.
The following What Hurts The Most has been covered by many American artists over the years including, and probably most successfully, Rascall Flatts. Kian offers us his take on the penning, adding some of his Irish charm to the opening and closing of the cover with the inclusion of a complimenting string section.
Kian’s take on the 3 Doors Down hit Here Without You is a nice addition to the track-listing and sits confidently beside renditions of Hooberstank’s The Reason, the piano-led and string drenched Not A Day Goes By, formerly by U.S country/pop outfit Lonestar, and Bryan Adams’ I’m Ready. Kian also teams up with wife Jodi Albert on the gorgeous token duet, I Run To You, giving the former Lady Antebellum hit an Irish kiss of life.
I’ve always loved the tone and clarity of Kian’s vocals from his time in Westlife so what’s great about Home is that he is finally able to hold his own on a record without the fear of being eclipsed by anyone else or forced to sit in the background while others take the lead.
Now, it is unfortunate that Kian has chosen to go with covers for his debut rather than take a little more time to put together a record of original songs given that Westlife, particularly in their later years, were, for the most part, a covers boyband. With this taken into account, Home doesn’t stretch Kian as a singer or entertainer – it is a record that sits within the singers comfort zone. That being said though, the track-listing he has put together does contain some rather nice renditions of tracks of the past 20 years.
The whole record is quite tame but given the singers former glory in pop music, that isn’t too much of a surprise. Saying that, the record does boast a few surprises as most of the tracks are not those you would expect a former lad of boyband fame to adopt on a debut with most being plucked from the rock songbook – Daughtry, 3 Doors Down, Hooberstank and the like.