Album Review: Miles Kane – ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’

Hotly-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s ‘Colour of the Trap’, asks whether now is Miles Kane’s time

milesLove’s not only blind but deaf, which makes it rather difficult to objectively review one of your favourite artists. However, that’s what I hope to do with Miles Kane’s latest album Don’t Forget Who You Are.

The 27-year-old’s second solo album initiates with ‘Taking Over’, which possesses raunchy guitar riffs, redolent of T.Rex. Although Kane has expressed desires of transcending the collaborative shadows of his past, it’s difficult not to hear ‘Little Illusion Machine’ during the verses, a song which he produced with Arctic Monkeys back in 2011.

On the whole, however, the album does have a paradoxical sense of individuality. It is unique in the sense that few today play in such a vintage style, although the influence of specific figures from the past is often evident. For instance, Lennon’s distinct, playful sound is indisputably apparent in ‘Better Than That’.

As with ‘Quicksand’, from the previous album, Colour of the Trap, the title track features some pop elements, such as the repetitive ‘La la la’ chorus, which have already made it a crowd-pleaser. However, with this exception, Kane’s admirable unwillingness to submit to modern pop conventions remains strong.

Although he doesn’t recapture the atmospheric feel of ‘Rearrange’ in his new material, Kane more than compensates for this through the powerful track ‘Give Up’. Atop the punchy drumbeat are phonetically coarse lyrics which depict a sense of confidence previously unseen. It would not be unreasonable to imagine Noel Gallagher being influential in this respect.

Despite the album’s generally feel-good, upbeat nature, at its heart is ‘Out of Control’, which is a good representative of the emotional honesty of the album. Another example is the final song, ‘Darkness in Our Hearts’. This track combines melancholy lyrics with an animated rhythm to convey that jovial ‘don’t let anything get you down’ attitude displayed so well by Kane.

Whilst Miles Kane may proclaim ‘my time is now’, unfortunately it seems his day is yet to come. Given contemporary society’s aversion to music made by non-machines, it would be quite optimistic to expect Kane to presently achieve the success he deserves, without succumbing to current demands for repetitious lyrics and musical monotony. If he did, however, there’d be a great darkness in my heart.

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