Album review: Miles Kane, Don't Forget Who You Are (Columbia)
Album of the Week: Singalong anthems with a Sixties beat and lots of swagger
“Throw out the old doubts, we won't let our worries dictate who we are,” sings Miles Kane on the title track of Don't Forget Who You Are, a proclamation that serves pretty well as the album's mission statement, backing up his claim that “my time is now”. Whether it actually is Kane's time probably remains at the whim of musical fashion, dependent on the current tidal status of indie guitar-rock with a retro twist. But on the strength of singalong anthems like this, it deserves to build on the inroads made by his 2011 debut, Colour of the Trap.
Kane wields an urgent, assertive grasp on tomorrow, via the sounds of yesterday: “Taking Over” opens the album with a swaggering glam-rock boogie about romantic obsession, lacing wired psychedelic lead guitar over slashed chords as he reflects on what little resistance he has to the girl taking over his life.
There's an almost brutal simplicity about the song, but it's a stylish simplicity that's reprised elsewhere, in the surging blue-eyed Sixties r'n'b of “What Condition Am I In?”, and in “Tonight”, a slab of anthemic rock that recalls Kasabian at their most commanding, with its blend of big chunky guitar chords, keening harmonies and the sneery edge to Kane's vocal.
It's quite easy to envisage entire arenas punching the air to songs like these and the pounding “You're Gonna Get It”, one of two tracks featuring Paul Weller.
When Kane takes things down a notch or two, with piano ballads like “Fire in My Heart” and “Out Of Control”, the tone is perhaps too predictably Gallagher-esque: the latter sounds like he reformulated “Wonderwall” and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” as a sort of musical equation.
And as lines like “Rock as we roll, get the engines and go, let's get out of control” suggest, Kane's not over-taxing the pop lexicon either, sticking closely to the more prominent entries on rock's word-frequency chart. Which brings a certain irony to the point in “What Condition Am I In?” when he sings, “I'm starting to over-think it now.” Not on this album, he's not –and maybe that's for the best.
Download: Taking Over; Don't Forget Who You Are; Tonight
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