Kane Kalas | High Hopes Review
High Hopes: A Love Letter in Song to Family, Legacy, and the Spirit of Philadelphia
by Bea Willis
High Hopes by Kane Kalas is an album steeped in love and legacy, a heartfelt tribute to his father, hall of fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, and the city and team they both adore: the Philadelphia Phillies. The music feels as deeply rooted as a long-standing family tradition, much like the one of singing the national anthem at the team’s opening day—an honor Kane carries on for the eighth consecutive year.
Every note sung, every melody played, is a harmonious blend of past and present, connecting generations of Phillies fans while echoing the love for music that Harry and Kane share. As Harry led celebrations with his iconic rendition of High Hopes, so does Kane, leading us through an album that feels like a grand celebration of life, love, and the spirit of Philadelphia.
The album showcases Kane’s deep respect for the city’s vibrant music scene, featuring over 50 talented local musicians. Eschewing computer-generated sounds for a live chamber orchestra, Kane presents an album that is a testament to authenticity. Much like a perfectly played hand in poker, it’s a risk that pays off beautifully, creating a sound that is raw, real, and resonant.
With each track, Kane takes us on a journey through his father’s life and love for the city. The booklet accompanying the physical album enriches this journey, explaining how each song relates to Harry or Philadelphia. Kane’s dedication to this project, stemming from his deep affection and respect for his father, sets the bar high and creates an incredibly engaging musical experience.
The album’s opener, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” is a playful introduction to Kane’s vocal proficiency, immediately immersing listeners in the familial baseball-loving world of the Kalases. It’s a reminder of the deep bond between father and son, a bond that informs and enhances the entire album. This blend of the personal and the artistic becomes the album’s central theme, beautifully framed by the warmth and versatility of Kane’s crooning voice.
There’s a unique authenticity in Kane’s renditions of classic Sinatra pieces like “All of Me” and “Luck Be a Lady.” He’s not just performing them but adding his own intimate flair, imbuing each note with a vulnerability and emotional depth. It’s as if he’s reaching across time through the memory of his father and connecting directly with Sinatra himself.
Other standout tracks, such as the vocal/piano duet “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and the romantic “French Foreign Legion,” showcase Kane’s robust vocal range and expressive phrasing. His performances are less about flashy showmanship and more about the raw, unadulterated connection with his audience, further emphasizing the profoundly personal nature of this album.
The title track, “High Hopes,” with the beautiful addition of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale, is a high point in the album. This track captures the city’s heart, echoing its resilience, vibrancy, and spirit of hopefulness. It’s a metaphor for Kane’s journey – a nod to the history he’s inherited and the legacy he’s continuing.
The album is rounded off with the poignant and moving “Goodnight My Someone,” a fitting conclusion to an emotional voyage. This final track, brimming with elegance and warm crooner tones, feels like a whispering farewell, not just to listeners but also to a cherished father and an unforgettable era.
Kane Kalas’ High Hopes succeeds in the mighty task of paying tribute to a loved father and an iconic city. And with his deeply emotional performances and heartfelt renditions, he has transformed this collection of songs into a beautiful, touching, and vocal-centered reality.
In conclusion, High Hopes is a story of love, legacy, and a city’s spirit, passionately narrated by Kane’s honey-toned singing from the Golden Age. Through his rich singing and the deeply personal connections embedded in each track, Kane not only honors his father’s legacy but also crafts a timeless tribute that resonates with every listener who has ever held high hopes in their hearts.
Release Date: April 6, 2023
About the author
With an unwavering passion for music that began at the tender age of five, I embarked on a journey of self-expression through the piano, later expanding my repertoire to the guitar and the art of singing. As a seasoned performer in cozy coffee shops and harmonious choir ensembles, I've immersed myself in the diverse tapestry of musical genres, seeking to uncover the intricate qualities that strike a chord within our souls.
Beyond my personal experiences, my journalistic pursuits have led me to explore the stories and inspirations behind the melodies we hold dear. As a music journalist, I aim to delve into the heart of each composition, shedding light on the creative minds that have shaped the soundscape of our lives.
In my downtime, you can find me serenading my loyal canine companion with heartfelt tunes on the guitar or indulging in retail therapy to enhance my ever-growing wardrobe. Songwriting holds a special place in my heart, and I yearn for the day when I can share my creative talents with the world. Until then, my passion for uncovering the emotional power within music continues to drive my insightful reviews and analyses, as I journey through the rich landscape of melodies that move us.