This is Kasabian's fourth studio album, it doesn't seem that long ago since we last heard a Kasabian single with Fire, back in 2009. Two years is the average turn around for an album these days, so Kasabian have no reason for this album being bad right??
So the content, it's a little varied, the synth hooks are an improvement from West Ryder, this album actually has new songs unlike West Ryder's filler and make up tracks. So that's already an improvement. This album just has that varied sort of feel, everything is mixed and all over the place. Unlike Empire or the self titled, this album has several songs that don't really go well together, the lyrical themes don't match up and the music is just as basic as early day Kasabian.
I cant help but cringing when listening to the opener, it's clear to me that the production must have cost a lot of money for the label RCA. Everything is polished and in a way over produced. It has very minimal Electronic aspects which attracted me to Kasabian in the first place. Nothing is raw anymore, that's something i don't like. The change isn't for good musically, but commercially. The use of strings and little dabs of Brass just isn't Kasabian at all.
Days Are Forgotten is just what i said, polished and produced to the point it's hard to listen to by an old fan. The song is painful to hear, the lyrics just don't go anywhere, the chorus is poor and without the production, it would be laughed at.
Amongst the poor lyrics, some good instrumentation is heard. Swithblade Blades finally brings the band back to the early days. It's a much better track both lyrically and musically. I like this track, it has a certain image which just makes me want to listen to again. This is the best song on the album, it's also the most raw and Live performance worthy.
It's not hard to criticize Kasabian, because they have many flaws which don't need to be covered anymore. They're sorted as the 'New Oasis', they'll always be a high flying band with chart success and sell out tours. It's just not the full picture. I know they could write better songs if they dedicate the time and money to it. Forget being number 1 in the charts, they need to aim at improving their skills musically.
I would say that this album has some good tracks, but lack in character and depth. I'd like to here more Electronic material and less polished studio material. It's certainly an improvement on West Ryder as an album. But where that has some very strong tracks in Underdog and Vlad The Impaler, this just doesn't have anything that stands out other than Switchblade Blades. It's your bog standard Indie Rock album from 2011.