The Joup Friday Album – Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud

ForCryingOutLoud

Music fandom is so much different in the 21st century than it was just 25 years ago. When I fell in love with a band as a teenager, I scoured magazine racks for the tiniest mention of them. Liner notes included addresses where I could write bands (no doubt cringe-worthy) letters telling them how much I liked them, and in return I’d get at least a sticker or newsletter back, and on some rapturous occasions, an actual letter back from a band member! Today, everything is online – you can learn everything you want to know about a band with a quick google search and the most you can hope for by way of interaction is a tweet.

If I was 25 years younger, Kasabian would probably be my favorite band. They are the very definition of my wheelhouse – high-energy British guitar rock. They somehow never rose to the obsessive, heavily googled status of my last official favorite band, the Libertines. I think the constantly connected world has taken some of the thrill out of music fandom for me. With every song and every bit of minutiae about a band imaginable instantly available on your phone wherever you are, it’s no longer a treasure hunt. It’s just there. Some of it may also be attributable to me no longer being a raging ball of hormones with a taste for skinny British boys.

Kasabian’s 2004 self-titled debut album did get heavy rotation on the old car CD changer as did the 2006 follow up, Empire. In the years since Empire, they’ve popped on and off my radar but I was too busy with other things to give them much attention. This week as it’s my turn to write a review, it’s as good a time as any to pay them and their new album For Crying Out Loud a little attention again.

Kasabian kick off For Crying Out Loud with one of the album’s singles “Ill Ray (The King)” doing what they do best, making guitar music you can dance to. How danceable is it? The bridge is straight up disco, but, you know, good. “You’re in Love with a Psycho” slows things down quite a bit with a bassline that sounds an awful lot like “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. Is that a happy little accident or a clever nod to the Police song’s subject matter of obsessive, stalkery love? I have to vote happy accident because “Psycho’s” mostly meaningless lyrics don’t do such a promising title justice. Though it was the album’s first single, I’m glad it wasn’t the first song I heard off of it – I probably would have said, “meh,” and not given the rest of the album a chance.

“Twentyfourseven” gets things back on track with a simple Stonesy riff and pounding drums that occasionally do a charming little skippety dippety thing, perhaps paying homage to Kasabian’s Madchester forefathers. “Good Fight” drops the tempo again, to a loping 50’s girl group beat and despite my love of all things brisk and aggressive in music, I think this might be my favorite song on the album for reasons I can’t quite explain. It just makes me happy.

“Wasted” is a just-OK mid-tempo number that might catch my ear if coming from a brand new band, but on an album with at least five other songs I absolutely love, it doesn’t stand out. A horn flourish at the beginning of “Comeback Kid” lets you know something special approaches. This is a getaway song – it feels like something you’d listen to while driving fast and recklessly. And then comes the winner for most rueful song title ever- “The Party Never Ends.” If this song doesn’t sound like the half bemused/half forlorn walk you take through your party-trashed house just before you pass out, I don’t know what does.

Just when they were starting to bum me out, Kasabian gets me dancing again with “Are You Looking for Action?” My first listen through of this album was in my kitchen while cooking dinner and this is the song that got me shaking my ass back and forth between sink and stove. We slow down again with “All Through the Night” (meh) and “Sixteen Blocks” which doesn’t have a lot going for it other than some spooky Theremin.

Finally we hit the payload with “Bless This Acid House” which sounds nothing like the genre it refers to in the title. Instead it’s a rollicking beach party song and just what I needed. “Put Your Life on It” wraps things up with a Beatlesesque clap-along number that I’m pretty sure all British bands are legally required to produce at some point in their careers.

I have to say, For Crying Out Loud is one of the most well-paced albums I’ve listened to in a long time. They’ll slow things down for one or two songs and pick the pace right back up, never letting anything slip into the doldrums for too long. Even in the songs I’m lukewarm about, I recognize the potential for them to grow on me with repeated listens. In fact, it’s just plain one of the best albums I’ve listened to in a long time. I hate to say anything as hyperbolic as, ‘This album has restored my faith in music,’ but yeah, it kind of has. This album makes me want to figure out how to stream music from my phone into my car’s fancy Bluetooth radio. Kasabian have reminded me of how great it is to like an album enough to listen to it over and over, where you don’t so much learn the words to all the songs, but absorb them into your brain through osmosis and find yourself singing along before you even know it. Oh crap, I think Kasabian may have become my new favorite band.

(Note: the embedded album is the “Deluxe Version” which includes 15 live bonus tracks. I limited my review to the tracks on the regular release but if you’ve never heard any Kasabian before, I highly recommend checking out “Shoot the Runner” and “L.S.F.”

Tagging Katie.

One Response to The Joup Friday Album – Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud
  1. Shawn Reply

    Great write-up. I don’t think I’ve ever been properly introduced to Kasabian so thank You for the little push!

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