Empire

Studio Album by released in 2006
Empire's tracklist:
Empire
Shoot the Runner
Last Trip (In Flight)
Me Plus One
Sun Rise Light Flies
Apnoea
By My Side
Stuntman
Seek & Destroy
British Legion
The Doberman

Empire review

Empire definitely outshines its predecessor

When British alternative rock band Kasabian released its eponymous debut album the critics and the audience compared them to Oasis and Primal Scream. The band’s line-up today consists of two vocalists Tom Meighan and Sergio Pizzorno, the latter also plays guitar and synths, bassist Christopher Edwards, drummer Ian Matthews and guitarist Jay Mehler. Meighan and Pizzorno also perform the parts of songwriters, and due to their efforts Kasabian’s second album Empire has seen the light of the day this August. Having retained its main features, the band’s sound has acquired something new which lead to new comparisons with the early Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim. On the other hand it speaks for the fact that Kasabian has an inclination to expand the borders of its music and diversify it. Therefore Empire first of all surprises with changing directions and more powerful vocals, and is definitely a more mature creation than the debut one. The generally accepted idea about the difficulties accompanying the creation of a second album seems to have nothing to do with Kasabian, and with the new work the band’s popularity is going to grow without fail. Thus, outshining its predecessor Empire breaks many stereotypes.

Kasabian has found a special technique making its music inimitable and recognizable

Those who have heard the first single and the lead track Empire released in late July are sure to notice significant improvements in the musicians’ playing and the vocalists’ singing. Punchy guitars and tempo changes please throughout the album, and the lyrics have become less cliched. Shoot The Runner offers the same dense mix of outstanding guitar solos, basses and the percussion as the opening title track, and Last Trip (In Flight) amazes with the vocalists’ one-breath harmonious performance. There are little slow compositions on Empire - for instance, Me Plus One and the ballad British Legion – but they are absolutely gorgeous with unfrgettable melodies and multilayered instrumentation. The album’s most powerful and raging tracks are Sun Rise Light Flies and short-breathed Apnoea, which could be be compared to Chemical Brothers’ early works if it were not for the monumental lead voclals. By My Side embodies the Kasabian’s fondness for changing the style and tempo within one song: starting as a heavy rock track it later turns into a softer guitar composition refined with interesting percusion in the background. Trumpets appear on the closing psychedelic ballad The Doberman, which also impresses with even more tempo changes, and by the end of Empire it is clear that Kasabian has found a special technique making its music inimitable and recognizable and distinguished on the modern alternative scene.

A joyful and thoughtful record at the same time

It is hard for a rock group to earn the reputation of a unique and self-sufficient one. Having undergone numerous comparisons, Kasabian has finally made it clear for everybody that it is different from the others. If preparing to listen to Empire you are expecting a mere continuation of what the band started making on its debut creation, you are going to be greatly surprised. The difference is at times so striking, that it is hard to get used to the band’s new manner of playing and skip from one tempo to the other. However this fondness promises to become Kasabian’s hallmark and probably attract new fans to the band. In any case, Empire is undoubtedly a Kasabian album: here are the same combination of the vocalists’ tone qualities and wonderful guitar solos, though both have been evidently accomplished and sound flawless on most of the tracks. A joyful and thoughtful record at the same time, not devoid of impetuous heavy songs, Empire is the best addition to any collection of rock music, besides, it is the one to bring in some variety into it. If you are bored with today’s alternative rock works, many of which are similar to each other, you are certainly not going to be disappointed with Kasabian’s new album.

(13.09.2006)
Rate review4.16
Total votes - 53


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