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Coming off their acclaimed self-titled debut, Kasabian is poised for world musical domination. There is no doubt that the stage is set for Kasabian to take things to the next level and their follow-up, aptly titled Empire, delivers on that potential and then some. Produced by Jim Abiss, renowned for his own work with Arctic Monkeys, Placebo and Paul Oakenfold to name a few, Empire is a far more ambitious, personal, and darker record than the band's first outing.
It was easy to see where Kasabian was coming from on its self-titled 2004 debut: Take Oasis' classic rock bluster, slap it together with the Chemical Brothers' acid-soaked club beats, and shake fiercely. But how to improve on a formula the British band already perfected with early singles like "Club Foot" and "Reason Is Treason"? That's easy: more of the same, only louder. On Empire, the shaggy-haired quartet adds dizzying strings and a heavy glam-rock stomp to its new songs, delivering roof-quaking tracks like "Shoot The Runner," "Sun Rise Light Flies" and the monstrous title cut. Even if the songs don't always measure up to their predecessors, the sound is reassuringly riotous. --Aidin Vaziri
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This album is very different than their first one. Gone is their lead guitarist and keyboardist, who was fired due to creative differences with the rest of the band, so a major portion of what made the first album good has been replaced. I still enjoy "Empire," but there are very few semblances to "Kasabian." The first single, "Empire" is similar and very good, got a catchy chorus. "Apnoea" is very close to their first batch of songs, but it's less than two minutes long??! Why, guys, why make a track that sounds half-finished? The best track on the album though, I'd have to say is "Stuntman." You can hear in its entirety on their myspace page. It's extremely catchy and sounds similar to the first album. "By My Side" stands out too, as it has a minor tone which reminds me of some of their earlier material.
I wonder what this album would have sounded like had the band stayed intact? I sure would have loved to hear that, but overall this album still is worth a listen.
EMPIRE sets the tone for the whole album. Its marching military beat, the hypnotic violins during the chorus and the changing electronic bases make this song one of those that has to be heard to be understood. A really risky single, definitely not mainstream. A piece of musical art.
SHOOT THE RUNNER is a frentic melody, based on a set of clapping hands. Heard to be the 2nd single. It has the same musical aura of their first cd but sounds crispy new.
LAST TRIP is another fast paced song. Has a kind of retro feel, mostly due to its heavily-charged vocal background.
ME PLUS ONE keeps on incorporating an eastern flavour on the band's new sound. Begins semi-acousticly and keeps on with the rythm until a tricky violin melody is added at the end. Simply gorgeous.
SUN/RISE/LIGHT/FLIES serves as another example of what I've mentioned on the previous track. Is truly anthemic, makes you feel like travelling through space and time. Song like this has gained them comparison to the Stone Roses. Marvelous.
APNOEA it's a techno danceable interlude. Addictive but short.
BY MY SIDE sticks to your head instantly. Danceable donwtempo song, greately mixed and produced. Could crowd at the same time a chill out bar and a trendy disco.
STUNTMAN is another heavily electronic song. Mind blowing, fast, agressive, feels like a gunshot.
SEEK AND DESTROY relies on a looped videogame-like beat. Trippy.
BRITISH LEGION turns the album upside down before the grand finale as it's mainly acoustic. Sounds like a late Beatles era song.
THE DOBERMAN finishes the album as an apocalyptic anthem. Listen to the whole of it and explore the changes of rythm, the dums, the trumpets, the voices...
The curse about the sophomore release is over for Kasabian. They've reached to the musical maturity that some of us were anticipating since their self-titled album. Can't wait to see where they'll next be headed to.
Until then, there's plenty to enjoy here...
"Empire" (11 tracks, 39 min.) starts off kicking and screaming with the title track (and first UK single) and right away my fears of a let-down are taken care off. This is a great album, from start to finish. Other highlights include "Me Plus One", "Seek & Destroy", and the standout track "Stuntman", with high energy all around, just great. The 5+ min. closer "The Doberman" is the perfect synposis of the album.
I saw Kasabian in concert when they were touring their debut album, and if anything the live experience was even better than the terrific debut album. Can't wait to see those guys again bringing the new album in concert. Highly recommended!
Fantastic. If you don't like the stand-out tracks of Doberman, a non-linear opus that takes you for a ride, the wonderfully rocking Stuntman, or attention grabbing Empire, then there is no hope for you.
Regardless of what they've done in the past, this album by itself, IS GREAT. If they (perhaps) made a better album previously, that doesn't lessen the value of this one at all.
Learn to appreciate good music, this would be a good start.