Thursday, April 4th, 2024

Kane Brown – I Can Feel It

A sample that’s no stranger to you and me…


[Video]
[5.18]

Taylor Alatorre: “Even though the song does draw a fair bit from Phil Collins’s 1981 song, the tempo is much faster.”[1]
[1]

Ian Mathers: As is often the case with modern pop country, “I Can Feel It” evokes a rural area; here, it’s the Uncanny Valley.
[2]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: So dumb! I respect it more for not being coy about using its big sample – Kane Brown and Dann Huff (who actually played on hits from Phil Collins’ contemporaries, wtf) hit that big drum fill button over and over again, especially during the second half of “I Can Feel It.” Worst part is that it works every time – this is a meta-level arena jam, a crass play that goes beyond the normal nostalgia-worship of so much of the contemporary pop landscape (secularly, across nearly all subgenres in 2024) by virtue of sheer shamelessness.
[6]

Isabel Cole: Nothing we haven’t heard before, more literally than usual, and obviously it’s dumb, but sometimes you don’t want smart, you know? It hits all its marks cleanly, and I like the weirdly roiling, tempestuous drama the track brings to a lightweight song about a drunken hookup (possibly why the hilariously incongruous video contains neither whiskey nor dancing — just a mechanic with a past and a dream).
[7]

Katherine St. Asaph: The annoying hackwork here isn’t the Phil Collins sample. It’s that songwriting affectation, rampant in modern country, of awkwardly wording things that are phrases — in this case “this is turning into a we-should-probably-get-up-out-of-here.” (Why does this exist? Is there a thinkpiece?) The Phil Collins sample is, in fact, what makes this not suck.
[7]

Mark Sinker: Time for every single song ever released to get its talking-point kinda-cover version. Time for “Weird” Al to become a worm-man god-emperor and rule over the charts for 3,500 years. A Million Golden Hits on the Golden Path
[5]

Alfred Soto: Kane Brown shows the apparently infinite ways in which “In the Air Tonight” adapts itself to whatever sized foot you stick into it: instead of a cheatin’ anthem, “I Can Feel It” focuses on the nervousness of would-be lovers courtin’ on the dance floor. Almost everything works except for the guitar solo, an example of premature ejaculation.
[7]

TA Inskeep: Theoretically this fusion of banjo, big-ass drums, and an interpolation of Phil Collins’ most iconic song should be a lot of fun — and Brown’s winking voice would seem to be the right fit for it. But it all feels awfully forced, especially when Brown actually sings that he “can feel it coming in the air tonight” in the bridge. It’s too obvious by half, not remotely country save for that banjo (which would be fine except that it’s being billed as, y’know, country), and even though it’s a clever idea, never fully gels. 
[4]

John S. Quinn-Puerta: I’m tired of interpolations that aren’t interested in engaging with their source. It’s just so blandly tactical to put on the trappings of a hit to ensure the boring ditty that you’ve done ten ways to Sunday gets airplay. 
[3]

Hannah Jocelyn: Everyone misses the kicks between the toms when they do “In the Air Tonight”! That’s what makes it distinctive! “One Mississippi” was legitimately incredible (would have been a [10] from me) and a massive step up, this is trying to be some kind of epic tough country song but that clashes with the uninspired, lovelorn lyrics. By the way, Kane, you’re no mister Kingston.
[5]

Nortey Dowuona: Gabe Foust, songwriter/producer for “Trailer Park Barbie” and “Bake It,” lets Aaron Sterling handle the drums, and man, does he handle them. His take on Phil Collins’s iconic fill kicks the song in the ass and brings it swimming up to Kane’s deep baritone, buoying it as the second verse begins, keeping the song steady as Rob McNelley’s seething solo dives below the chorus and surfaces on the bridge. The song relies less on the kick of “here’s the Phil Collins drum fill, please clap” and more on “here’s Kane Brown using one of the best baritones in popular music; leave with him and go steal that money.” And Brown is in fine form; his quick trot then strolling delivery of the first verse snatches you up and leads so smoothly into the chorus that you are swept away, your hair flying in the wind, your eyes full of the moon before you can blink. The bass, played by Mark Hill (yes, that Mark Hill !!!?) comfortably purrs below, interlocking with the kick. It pushes Brown into picking up the pace at first, then smoothing out and sliding during the chorus. He delivers spurts of melisma briefly but remains in control of his voice despite the rising waves of the mix. It drifts away into the sky, but you’re on a string, lazily drifting behind it.
[10]

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