It’s funny what a few years and a clutch of shit hot songs will do for a fella’s career. Think back just a couple of years ago and Miles Kane was, to most, nothing more than the other half of The Last Shadow Puppets.
Now if you’re gonna be known as the other half of anything, it might as well be one of the best British bands to have come out of the past two decades, but obviously Mr Kane was not content with stopping there.
As a result, in 2009 he released debut solo album Colour of the Trap. Not a perfect album by any means, but one with a fierce selection of tunes such as Inhaler and Come Closer (we all know ’em by now). Songs that can remind the casual observer why music can be so, so much more than samples and processed beats.
And now, in 2013, Mr Miles Kane seems to have invented the chorus. I don’t mean to suggest that he invented the term, or anything so arrogant, but fucking hell the rest of the albums this year are going to have a hell of a job topping the feel good, goosebump inducing explosion of nostalgia and sheer joy that almost every song on Don’t Forget Who You Are seems to erupt into.
You see, there isn’t a single song on this album that doesn’t have a genuinely catchy or unforgettable moment. The first three tracks rattle along at a breathless pace; Taking Over kicks the album off with an Electricity style riff and some tasty vocal harmonies on the chorus while I can only describe Better Than That as a jubilant sixties street party.
We’re afforded a moment of peace with Out of Control. A cracking little number which slows things down but still has a sweeping orchestral chorus that induces chills. Then it’s back into it with a slightly more rock oriented selection of tracks.
Bombshells is a very Secret Affair style number, nice and moddy, while Tonight is like a dancier, glam rockish cousin of Come Closer and has a very nice solo tucked away in there.
Unfortunately, acoustic track Fire in my Heart is basically Half The World Away. That isn’t to say it’s a bad song, but the obvious comparison becomes kind of offputting and after another slew of heavy, fast tracks, another sudden break seems slightly jarring in the grand scheme of things.
Fortunately, You’re Gonna Get it has Paul “King of the Mods” Weller written all over it, as the mod couple wrote it together and it is a standout track. Pure, unashamed, undiluted rock and roll and frankly, mod as fuck.
And then it’s moving swiftly onto Give Up, the first single from the album, which is nothing short of a stomping, dirty great indie tune with a clear aim to tear up the crowd at live shows. The military drum roll, the chant, the chorus, the beasty riff, all the makings of a classic.
Album closer Darkness in Our Hearts has a very Strokesy, Last Nite sound going on (even the drum beat is the same), but it quickly changes into a sound which is unmistakably Kane’s. He’s clearly big on chanty, repetitive lyrics on this album, but it suits him well.
Don’t Forget Who You Are is, in short, more of a refinement of his sound than a full on evolution. He’s kept everything that made his first solo effort great and thrown on a fuck load more chorus, tune and mod magic. If this album doesn’t make you want to go straight out and throw on the sharpest suit you can buy, you’re listening to it wrong.