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18th June 2013

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

The self-appointed leader of an apparent mod revival falls flat with his second solo effort

Released: 3rd June 2013

Columbia Records


Don’t Forget Who You Are is the second solo offering from the frontrunner of the mod revival, Miles Kane. The album title is surprisingly fitting, given the cover artwork of Kane looking as sharp as ever in front of his mum’s butcher’s in Liverpool. Indeed, the smartly-dressed musician from the Wirral is unavoidably likable, boasting well-received debut Colour of the Trap and forming half of indie rock’s most endearing bromance alongside Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. It’s this relationship, however, that casts the only remaining doubt over his credentials; Turner co-fronts The Last Shadow Puppets with Kane and even co-wrote half of his debut album. Does Don’t Forget Who You Are finally establish Kane as an accomplished artist, released from the shackles of that partnership?

In short: no.

The album kicks off promisingly enough, with energetic opening track ‘Taking Over’ sure to be a fan-favourite with its anthemic chorus and prominent guitar riffs. It’s a shame, then, that such lofty heights are never reached again throughout the eleven-song album. The title track features another catchy chorus that’s bound to get your foot tapping, but the repeated “la la la”s hint at a worrying lack of ideas. The descent into mediocrity is completed as early as the third track, ‘Better Than That’, with its genuinely cringe-inducing lyrics that see Kane spell out “L – O – V – E / I’m talking about love”. Even a collaboration with the Modfather himself, Paul Weller, does little to alleviate the boredom on ‘Fire In My Heart’, a track that goes nowhere slowly.

Lead single ‘Give Up’ provides a rare glimpse into what the album could have been; it’s a punchy, in-your-face number that echoes 2011’s ‘Come Closer’ and ‘Inhaler’, but tracks like these are too few and far between on what is a largely forgettable LP. Whether it’s due to second-album syndrome, or simply Kane being ‘found-out’ now that he’s standing on his own two feet, it’s hard to see this album as anything other than a let-down. Like that kid at school who always relied on others for the answers, Kane will need to give best pal Alex Turner a call if he’s to avoid similar disappointments in the future.

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