Kasabian – Velociraptor!
How does a band go about trying to make their fourth record off the back of three highly successful albums, and what some would call an already accomplished career? If anyone is looking for the answer, you’re best bet is to ask Kasabian, because I can thankfully say that they know how it’s done.
I approached the album with the impression that it would be as they themselves described it; heavy, judging by the two pre-release tracks ‘Switchblade Smiles’ and ‘Days Are Forgotten’. However, I discovered that those tracks aren’t really a reflection of the record at all, although they fit into the album like the very last pieces of a jigsaw somewhat perfectly. Kasabian did correctly identify this with their claim that number four combines elements from the previous three.
The music of the album points towards more lo-fi, simple and defined direction. It’s strong on dreamy synths and drum pads, with guitars and other elements reminiscent of their early work making an appearance here and there. The songs sing of lovely stories and situations by the trademark whiny but aggressive vocals set in harmony with an evident Arabic/Turkish influence. If anyone is expecting a collection of big numbers, keep listening to West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. For me, yes I was expecting more tunes for blasting, but I am more happy that they aren’t all like that. Listening to this album provokes a sense that Kasabian have matured and no longer need to prove themselves to anyone – something fans knew a long time ago, but critics clearly didn’t. But then again, who ever listens to critics?