Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are
Dapper as ever, Miles Kane returns with his second album, and once again he's had a little assistance from his growing brood of cool friends. This time it's Modfather himself Paul Weller who co-writes two songs and chips in with backing vocals and guitar duties. Miles may be the coolest guy in town, but he knows such associations will do him no harm over the longer term.
Kane wisely keeps with his winning formula of 60s-infused, catchy pop numbers, and it works a treat. As with his 2011 debut, Don't Forget Who You Are is packed with cleverly crafted tunes that positively ooze with Kane's charm and charisma. In the hands of a less adept performer the songs could come off as trite and cliche, but in his confident hands they seem razor sharp and loads of fun. Starting off with the slick 'Taking Over' the short but sweet album (all the songs clock in under three minutes) flash by like a souped up Mini. The brilliantly catchy title track is classic Kane, cocksure and disarming. We're not talking about saving the rain forests here or conflicts in the Middle East; these are songs to dance and sing to, the bedrock of good time rock 'n roll.
After the fab 'Better Than That' Kane slows things down a bit with the ballad 'Out Of Control', proving that he can handle the love songs as deftly as the rockers. It might be hard to swallow that a guy like Miles can feel such vulnerability, but the song is delivered with such sincerity you want to give the guy a hug and tell him it will all be OK: "When I feel her touch / I believe love / Love is not a drug / That's for certain."
'Fire In My Heart' and 'You're Gonna Get it' are both co-wriiten with Weller, though you wouldn't necessarily know without the liner notes. 'Fire In My Heart' is low key and stripped down, just Miles on acoustic and Weller on piano and backing vocals. 'You're Gonna Get It' is back to the formula of smart, punchy numbers, a stellar performance by two stalwart Mods old and new.
The album ends with a bang. 'Give It Up' which has already received a healthy dose of airplay, is one of the album's highlights. Sinister, with a ringing guitar riff and snarling lyrics, the affable Miles is replaced by a Kane to be reckoned with: "People call me suspicious / Well they'd better watch their tongue / This one is so malicious / Got me on the hit and run."
While rockier and more aggressive than Colour of the Trap, Don't Forget... is still an accessible and thoroughly enjoyable follow-up that will not leave fans disappointed.