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Review by Hal Horowitz
Any time a musician survives a life-altering change, you can be sure that will be reflected in the music that follows. Often a breakup/divorce, new love/marriage, drug rehabilitation/habit or religious transformation has been responsible for some of pop's most memorable music. So it's no surprise that after Candye Kane was clear of the pancreatic cancer that could easily have been her death sentence, she would reference that experience on the album immediately following the harrowing situation.
Kane doesn't waste any time doing that as the opening title track to her first post-cancer effort kicks off with the brassy singer bellowing the lyrics "I've always been a fighter" followed in the chorus by "there's no way I'm laying down and dying." Based on the aural evidence here, she has bounced back in a big way, ripping into her usual potpourri of jump blues ("Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"), surfy rockabilly ("Throw It in the Trash Can Love" with ex-Paladin Dave Gonzales on guitar), straight-ahead Chuck Berry rocking ("You Can't Stop Me from Loving You"), and blues-based retro Americana classic pop ("Picture of You"). As usual , there are plenty of double entendres flying, especially on the jazzy "I Like 'Em Stacked Like That" where Kane goes toe to toe with Mitch Kashmar, who drops his harp to spar with Kane on vocals only to pick it up on the following tough shuffle, "Till You Go Too Far." The sassy singer writes ten of the 15 tracks, all of them sharp, peppy, and perfectly suited to her roots/blues sensibilities. She's in terrific voice throughout, sexy when needed but also vulnerable on the Leslie Gore-styled swinging twist of "I Didn't Listen to My Heart."
Kane co-produced with right-hand guitarist Laura Chavez, and the duo finds the sweet spot in every tune, keeping the spotlight on the vocalist where it belongs, yet giving the songs room to breathe. Kane's previous albums are typically spirited affairs, but here she sings with the passion, vitality, and sheer joy of someone who has been given a new lease on life and is determined to make the most of it.
01 - Superhero 04:48
02 - Hey! Toughen Up! 02:54
03 - I Put A Hex On You 03:55
04 - I'm A Bad, Bad Girl 04:55
05 - Ik Hou Van Je (I Love You) 03:16
06 - Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed? 03:30
07 - Don't Cry For Me New Jersey 04:48
08 - You Need Love 04:06
09 - I Like 'em Stacked Like That 02:48
10 - Till You Go Too Far 03:45
11 - Picture Of You 04:29
12 - You Can't Stop Me From Loving You 04:27
13 - I Didn't Listen To My Heart 03:26
14 - Throw It In The Trash Can Love 03:11
15 - I'm Gonna Be Just Fine 01:02
Gamble for more Candye Kane