Candye Kane,
The Toughest Girl Alive
(Rounder/Bullseye, 2000)

Candye Kane is one big, beautiful, busty, bluesy, ballsy woman. And she loves love. Any kind. Her latest CD, The Toughest Girl Alive, lets you know that, too -- she tells you what she wants, and she doesn't back down from the telling, either.

"I'm the Toughest Girl Alive" presents Kane just as she is; it's a swingy, horn-y warning not to mess around with her. Kane wails on this one, changing from sultry sex-kitten to growling wildcat in the blink of an eye. "Who Do You Love?" kicks in after this, delivering Kane's belief that love transcends race, religion, class or gender with toe-tapping rhythms.

Kane's influences range from blues to jazz to gospel, the latter being evident on "One More Day (Without Your Love)." The swing rhythms come back in on "For Your Love," and the lyrics promote Kane's views on sex and promiscuity with tongue-in-cheek humor and frankness. Kane's voice comes through strong on "Didn't We"; she's definitely got a good set of lungs. Each of the songs on this CD are sung all-out, with just the right amount of expression.

The real attraction to this music is Kane's attitude; she's open and honest, and the music is infectious. Even listeners who might normally be turned off by Kane's attitudes toward all things sexual shouldn't be able to resist the tempting grooves on these tunes. Every song, from "To See a Grown Man Cry" to "Let's Commit Adultery" and "She Was My Baby Last Night," beckons, cajoles, taunts and just plain demands that you get up and get your booty movin'.

Candye Kane has definitely made her mark on the music world. It probably doesn't hurt that she can play the piano with her boobs, either. [shrug] While her music may not be for everyone, it packs a full-throated wallop that is sure to make an impression on anyone who listens.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]

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