Single Review – Miles Kane – Better Than That

‘Better Than That’ which is out in October, is another single off Miles’ second album Don’t Forget Who You Are and it see’s him at his best. Shovelling instant hooks and melodies with energetic vocals down our throats. The 60’s pop rock bass plays a starring roll with the core hook of the song and everything else works off it. Mile’s rapid build up of vocals leads up to chorus easily while the song keeps plugging away with the interchanging riffs kicking up the rhythm to another gear while the organ sits in the background; holding the other elements as one with it’s subtle wash of sound. The song is not miraculous or out of the blue at all but it’s filled with a lot of tried and tested methods which are pretty much failsafe and when it’s coupled with the swagger and style that Miles has then it’s always going to work in one way or another.

http://youtu.be/kp48FdiAkBQ

Image from www.nme.com 

Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are Review

There is no doubting Miles Kane’s ability as a musician and his developing song-writing talent. Though it’s not the most innovative thing ever, it’s not what he’s aiming for and there seems to be too much focus on what he wears or who he’s mates with rather than his music. People are obsessed about whether he is a mod or not and send him to the gallows or not depending if he passes their judgement. However he’s also hugely over-hyped by those like the NME who are always setting him up for a fall by acting as if he’s some saviour to revive the depleted music industry. In today’s world it’s nearly impossible for one person to do such a thing and what he’s doing currently will not do the job either so they are already setting him up for a fall in that case. He can’t win. However DFWYA is one of the most solid second albums for a while. He has played it safe with what he knows from Colour of the Trap but what he knows has enough scope for change. He’s done that with DFWYA. Each song is much more snappy and to the point and the excess and wild moments from his first album have been much  more controlled with this album to create a more mature and realistic second album. A small step in the right direction instead of the flatlinging of some peoples second albums like The Vaccines or Mumford & Sons but to be fair to The Vaccines; their second album was only months after their first. Mumford & Sons had a lot longer.

‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ as the title track for the album which is probably one of the most familiar songs compared to Colour of the Trap. Those disstorted and sharp burts from the lead guitar are pretty familiar but are hardly a bad element. The similar song structure coupled with a different sort of rythm section which worked well together had also snookered him in how he could do nothing but fill the empty space with ‘la’s’ but if it’s a lead single some sing a long quality perhaps should be there and it’s provided. Apart from that the song is full of energy and confidence that a Miles Kane track typically has and you do get the slight feeling he was trying to pin-point the areas of his songs that he thought would make a great combination for the lead track and to some extent it work but perhaps it was too hypo-analysed. ‘Give Up was a single released mushc earlier on in the year and it does feel sort of detatched from the rest of the album in that. In certian ways ‘Give Up’ is a “heavier” and revved up version of Miles Kane with sharper and aggressive riffs with Miles’ vocals ripping through your eardrums like the guitars. However it’s also quite controlled and considered in the bridge sections with all the elements changing the tone along with Miles’ deeper vocals that flicks back to the in yer face feel to the song which often works well if it’s not over done. 

‘Out of Control’ is perhaps a little less typical in how it’s more melodic and very considered with acoustic and string elements. The very subtle injections of that sharp guitar riff works well along with the other two elements to play the supporting role and give full focus to Miles and the vocals and lyrics. Other tunes like ‘You’re gonna get it’ have a great rythmic quality to them that marries well with the exuberant style Miles Kane better than it did on the title track. The song if much more rock ‘n’ roll leaning than the alternative angle that songs like ‘Give Up’ have and it gives a better sense of variety and depth in the album but not to a massive extent. The scattered and stop start approach of the instumentals on songs like ‘Tonight’ also cahnge at each interval to mimic the vocal direction to lead to the smooth transition to the chorus and at times is very bass driven and the album itself is much mor bass driver than ‘Colour of the Trap’ and it’s all the better for it. The bass eliminates many of the different guitar tracks and actually gives Miles more space for the vocals and the guitar solo’s that are more valued because of it. It’s not a massive change of direction but he’s certainly tidied up any weak links or any mess from the first album. He’s also made a slightly more melodic and rythmic album that is an even better representation of a live Miles Kane performance and that is something he excels in. My ears are still ringing from when I saw him last. With all that in mind the album is a slight improvement on Colour of the Trap that see’s Miles try one or two new things in a subtle fashion. His core fans will love it for sure and his musicality may drawn in others too. Not mindblowing but not too bad either

Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are = 7/10

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