He fronted The Rascals and paired with Alex Turner to create The Last Shadow Puppets but, with his debut solo record 'Colour of the Trap', Miles Kane has stepped out from the shadows. However, they do say that the difficult second album is an indicator of whether an artist is truly any good, and now Kane returns with 'Don't Forget Who You Are' to show us what he's really made of.
Kicking off with a punch is 'Taking Over', a track which demonstrates that Kane is evidently happy sticking with his 60s-style psychedelic pop-rock sound. A snarling guitar hurtles us into a steadfast opening verse before transforming into a livelier, foot-tapping chorus, and this dynamic makes for an engaging three minutes. We slink easily into the title track with retro style riffs and lyrical 'la la la's' that transport you straight back to Carnaby Street. Meanwhile, the snarling lyrics of 'Better Than That' complement the pacing, stomping beats of the drum and guitar and provide a contrast to the smooth contemplating of 'Fire In My Heart'.
There are points where lazy rhyming taints the talent that Kane clearly possesses. Lyrics such as "it's a tough one/it's a rough one" in the otherwise fantastic 'Tonight' and "not enraged/locked in the cage/without breaking out/I'm gonna scream and shout" in 'You're Gonna Get It' simply sound contrived. However, 'Out of Control' and 'Fire in my Heart' are comprised of heartfelt and mindful lyrics that prove Kane can really write when he puts his mind to it.
With his debut, Kane showed that he can create catchy hooks and captivating riffs along with the best of them and this second record demonstrates an element of maturity as he strays from relying solely on the retro feel which featured heavily previously. Yet, he still remains slightly in the shadow of his current peers who create similar sounds, such as Paul Weller and Kasabian. However, if he can continue the development he shows here in his future material, it shouldn't be long before he really makes a stamp of his own.
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