Kian Egan's debut solo album is almost a work of art in its calculated market-friendly safeness.
Nobody was expecting former Westlifer Kian Egan to cover Atrocity Exhibition by Joy Division or Bodies by The Sex Pistols on his debut solo album but even by the high water mark of slop pop set by his former band, Home is almost a work of art in its aversion to quality or imagination.
Egan, forever singled out as the least vocally gifted in Westlife (The Rolling Stones of boybands), keeps his voice on a tight lease and doesn't let his choice of covers roam too far from Cowell/Walsh endorsed fluff.
It ranges across the prairie of the mind from Daughtry’s more windy-than-windswept Home, to a bunch of songs by crack Nashville song-writing teams, to, and very admirably, a feck-the-begrudgers duet with his wife, Jodi Albert, on Lady Antebellum’s twirling parasols and lemonade epic, I Run To You.
Far better would have been a version of Bryan Adams’ best song - Run To You, a real howl of lust with a killer guitar solo. However, the AOR Canuck does get a look in here with I’m Ready, which suits Egan’s urban cowboy shtick just fine.
So the Sligo surfer dude doesn't roam too far from his spiritual and musical home. Meanwhile, Brian Rawling's production sounds rushed, weedy, and over-fed on sugary strings, tasteful countrified guitar, and a workmanlike rhythm section.
Of course, a Kian Egan solo album only actually exists because of his victory on I’m a Celebrity . . . , something he is happy to acknowledge himself. You can hardly blame him for rumbling what Cowell rumbled ten years ago – the real money in the music industry is in TV shows.