Review – Kane Brown’s “Used To Love You Sober”

Kane Brown Used To Love You Sober

Sometimes in life you hope that if you ignore something enough, it’ll just go away and you won’t have to ever address it. But then it continues to hang around and keep rearing its ugly head. Finally you realize you have to address the problem. This is the case with Kane Brown. Just like Sam Hunt before him, I was hoping he would just be a one-hit wonder or ideally a no-hit wonder before fading off into the sunset. While Brown has yet to score a major hit at radio, it’s looking inevitable. So now I have to talk about the self-proclaimed “Justin Bieber of country music,” which by the way is one of the worst self-descriptions I’ve ever heard. Brown has had a “meteoric rise” over the past year by going viral on Facebook and streaming services. It comes off as a whole rags-to-riches story. At least that’s what Brown wants you to think. The real story is Brown and his manager Jay Frank used a giant shell game to manufacture his rise and parlay it into a major label deal with Sony Music Nashville. Basically Brown found holes in the system, exploited them fully and convinced a bunch of executives he’s a rising, marketable talent. Now with major label backing, Brown is set to add further to the destruction of country radio with his current single, “Used To Love You Sober.”

After listening to this song, I can see why he calls himself the Justin Bieber of country music. Brown’s basically ripping off Bieber’s style, as he goes for the same brooding, pseudo dark vibe that Bieber has been using in his recent singles. Brown is trying to paint himself as this sensitive badass, which I’m sure the more gullible female listeners will eat right up. Really he’s just another con-man exploiting the current popularity of country music because he knows if he went to the pop genre he would be forever irrelevant. But on Music Row ripping off other genres is their go to business plan. Brown’s voice isn’t completely terrible like Tucker Beathard or Sam Hunt, as he isn’t unlistenable like Beathard nor always flat like Hunt. But one thing he shares with Hunt is a complete lack of charisma. Brown’s voice completely bores me. The song itself is about a man coping with his woman leaving him by drinking away his pain. This isn’t a bad theme, but the instrumentation and Brown’s vocals do not match up with it. The lyrics make the song sound sad, yet Brown shows no emotion in his voice to express this (hence why he bores me) and the instrumentation has a standard pop sound. It’s a very thrown together song that does nothing to connect with the listener.

Overall “Used To Love You Sober” is at best a very ho-hum, boring song that belongs more in pop than country. At worst it’s a terrible attempt at appearing to be sensitive and emotional, when really it’s just another douche anthem that Sam Hunt has championed at country radio over the last year or so. I’m sure fans of Affliction and Ed Hardy t-shirts will disagree with me though. The one surprising conclusion I’ve come to about Kane Brown is that he isn’t definitively the worst artist at country radio, which is pretty sad considering Brown is a boy band reject from The X-Factor. The only way this isn’t a hit at country radio this summer is if the major country radio companies go under beforehand (possible) or if radio decides to embrace the Stapleton wave (doubtful). Either way, “Used To Love You Sober” is a bad song that could be worse, but not much worse.

Grade: 2/10

6 thoughts on “Review – Kane Brown’s “Used To Love You Sober”

  1. Amanda April 22, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Barf. This dude is such a joke. I honestly don’t see the hype surrounding this guy, especially around people my age. I’m a 19 year old college-age girl, and I think Kane Brown is one of the most damn near hideous men I’ve ever seen. And his music sounds like something Justin Bieber and One Direction would cut for an album. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. southtexaspistolero April 22, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    Yeah, the dude’s not a bad singer, I’ll give him that. He just sings really crappy songs.Give him some decent songs and he might actually be good. Probably not Jason Boland or Turnpike Troubadours good, but at least good for mainstream country.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OlaR April 22, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    Kane Brown the “social media star” wants to become a big “country”-music star.
    After the release of two EP’s, a handful of songs & videos, Kane Brown is still far away from star-status.
    “Used To Love You Sober” is 38 on Billboard’s National Airplay Chart (after 10 weeks). Tucker Beathard 29 after 6 weeks & there was much more buzz about Kane Brown since 2014.
    His voice is ok. The song is ok. But that’s it. No reason to listen to more songs. With so many male acts fighting for a place on playlists & charts, Kane Brown is not my choice for the future.

    Music Row/CountryBreakout Chart:
    1 – Dierks Bentley/”Somewhere On A Beach”
    2 – Tim McGraw/”Humble & Kind”
    3 – Dustin Lynch/”Mind Reader”
    Highest female artist: Cam/”Mayday” (18)
    “Social media star”: Kane Brown/”Used To Love You Sober” (47/5 weeks)
    “My dad is a famous songwriter”: Tucker Beathard/”Rock On” (41/2 weeks)


  4. petemarshall724 April 22, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    I’m not a bro-country fan but I really dig this song!! I give this song 10/10


    • petemarshall724 April 24, 2016 / 8:02 pm

      just kidding this song sounds terrible I made 40 seconds to the song.


  5. Don April 24, 2016 / 10:07 am

    I made it 20 seconds into that video. The good thing about satellite radio, or streaming is that I don’t have to be assaulted by this nonsense if I do not want to. Terrible. What’s with that vocal fry thing he has going. He sounds like an adolescent trying to make his voice sound deeper.


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