Miles Kane is probably best known in recent years as being one half of the supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets alongside friend and frontman of Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner, but he is also a solo artist in his own right. Hailing from Merseyside, Kane has become a big name on the indie rock scene but whilst his previous album Coup De Grace featured rousing guitar anthems like Cry On My Guitar, his new release Change the Show plays it incredibly safe with a slow pop-rock album that falls short.
Opening with Tears Are Falling, a keyboard starts to play whilst Miles’ vocals appear to be soft. There's slightly more power in the chorus but nothing distinctly hits you straight away. The track is just a safe slow melodic chilled vibe, which wouldn't necessarily be bad if the rest of the album packed more of a punch. Similarly, the single Don't Let It Get You Down isn't a big guitar ballad, however, it has more rhythm and seems to go down well at festivals – despite a bizarre cameo from Paul O'Grady at the start.
Nevertheless, track number 5, Never Get Tired of Dancing does add more character to the album and stood out to me as being one of the best. Kicking in with a rock’n’roll scream, this is much more of what I wanted to hear from Kane – an insanely catchy chorus with simplicity in the lyrics that tell the story of easy complicated love. The soulful backing vocals and upbeat guitar lines make for a perfectly repeatable pop song that looks like it could be a new highlight of Kane’s tour setlist.
Title track Change the Show is also sonically faster than the majority of the album, and has more of a melodic pattern that I’m accustomed to, but tracks like Adios Ta-ra Ta-ra (which closes the album) just feel like filler. It’s got a decent melody but no real meaning translated through.
I was hoping this album would have bolder guitar lines and push more boundaries after witnessing how great a showman Kane is at Victorious festival last year, but the whole time I felt like I was waiting for it to kick-in without anything ever happening. It seems the Birkenhead rocker has played it safe and stuck to generally acceptable tunes that don’t really leave any lasting impression.
Perhaps this is Kane’s attempt at radio play but my advice is to see Miles live, as from my experience you’ll be a lot more impressed with his back catalogue.