Album Review: Miles Kane – ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’


Everybody’s favourite wannabe Mod, Miles Kane, returns with his second solo album, Don’t Forget Who You Are. Music lovers worldwide wait with bated breath to see if his latest effort could possibly beat his 2011 masterpiece, Colour of the Trap.

Firstly, before tackling the deep musical offerings of Miles’ tortured soul, a quick history of his music career to date. His first band, The Little Flames, split before releasing an album. His second band, The Rascals, released one album, Rascalize, in 2008. Only his partnership with the talented and successful Alex Turner in The Last Shadow Puppets wielded any proper success, and one must wonder if that was down to Turner’s input. Either way, Miles Kane embarked on a solo career and has never looked back.

So, onto Don’t Forget Who You Are. The title says it all. Visions of a meaningful message directed at angsty teens, when, in fact, it is just laugh out loud funny. Upon receiving such direct and relevant life advice from a contemporary rock star, you feel almost bad for not being able to offer anything in return. But you just can’t quite muster anything quite as deep, and Miles has to walk the gloomy rock star path all by himself.

On ‘Better Than That’, he wistfully croons about ‘being better than that’. Who, or what, are you better than, Miles? Your 3-year-old nephew’s songwriting ability? It’s a close one.

The orchestra-based ‘Out Of Control’ wishes it had the swagger of an Oasis record and the epicness of Stereophonics, when actually, it is about as euphoric as the fart the morning after 10 pints of pale ale: wet.

‘Bombshells’ is actually an acceptable song. It sounds like a watered down Arctic Monkeys and is comfortably the best on the album, despite containing the lyrics ‘I need excitement, I need a cure’. Yes Miles, your music is boring and my ears need treatment.

‘What Condition Am I In?’ is a glam-rock rip-off with more inane lyrics. I have no idea about your condition, Miles, but I’m in a pretty bad way, son. As long as I don’t forget who I am though, yeah? That’s the spirit.

‘You’re Gonna Get It’ could well be Miles’ attempt at establishing himself within lad culture circles. It’s a bad attempt. On ‘Start Of Something Big’, Miles puts on his best Johnny Rotten impression. For somebody called ‘Miles’, it’s really quite amusing, and no Miles, this is not the start of anything big, thankfully.

Final track on the deluxe version, ‘First Of My Kind’, is a heart-warming love story, on which Miles declares he is the ‘first of his kind’. I’d like to disagree, good Sir. There have been hundreds of failed middle of the road musicians. Chin up, though, just don’t forget who you are.

However, plenty of bands have managed to make good music despite questionable lyrics. Sadly, the music on Don’t Forget Who You Are is a dull pastiche of any guitar-based music that has gone before. There isn’t a single memorable or original riff on the whole album. In fact, it is possible to draw numerous comparisons between Don’t Forget Who You Are and ‘dad-rock’. It is funny, therefore, how he seems to appeal to an audience of almost exclusively 13-16 year old girls.

You might think I’ve been harsh on what could be considered your average rock album. However, what annoys me is Miles Kane’s attempts to firstly advise today’s youth, secondly be a ‘Mod’, and thirdly his self-belief that he’s any good. Kane has nothing interesting to say, his songs are boring and he’s from Liverpool. He should follow his own advice from tenth track, ‘Give Up’. Exactly that.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Merchandise – Totale Night



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