Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud
by Liam Hill, Finn Dickinson, Robbie Taylor, Connor Jackson
This isn’t Kasabian’s most daring record, in fact its generally very safe. And although it isn’t their best album, it certainly is a feel good, generally upbeat and reassuringly familiar return to their older style. Whilst longer track Are You Looking For Action? is seemingly un-Kasabian, album opener Ill Ray (The King) is a welcome return to the more recognisable Kasabian-esque sound which is generally carried throughout.
For Crying Out Loud will likely be criticised for being largely unoriginal and ‘more of the same’, but when Kasabian have such a large and dedicated fan-base, isn’t this expected? The iconic OOSH of Underdog and the brash chorus of Fire sits perfectly in stadiums, none less than the King Power Stadium, with Comeback Kid, Bless This Acid House and lead single You’re In Love With a Psycho comfortably adding to that bill; for me, continuity in this sense isn’t such a bad thing.
Kasabian predominantly are a one-trick-pony kind of band. However, the tinge of reggae on Sixteen Blocks, the brilliant disco-synth hybrid on Are You Looking For Action? and the sombre tone of The Party Never Ends goes to show a wider scope of influence and ability for the band.
Lyrically, the band have typically been rather weak, with little change here. However, this for the most part doesn’t alter my opinion. Whilst clever and touching lyrics are normally favoured, this clearly is an album that for the most part is simply a bit of fun. As fun, dance, “rock” albums go, this isn’t at all a bad attempt.
Picks: You’re In Love With a Psycho, Comeback Kid, Bless This Acid House
On the opening track of their new album, Kasabian pledge to “Take all you fuckers and blow you away”. Don’t hold your breath.
Kasabian’s take on experimental rock is certainly interesting, but if For Crying Out Loud is an experiment, the researchers seem to have forgotten what they want out of it. Kasabian apparently thought the stream of extraneous sounds running through Twentyfourseven would make up for the fact that it sounds like a throwaway Royal Blood track, and the sloppy, psychedelic jam making up the last three minutes of the offensively long Are You Looking For Action? doesn’t quite cut it. Perhaps the band just wanted something to balance out their ego – I’ve never heard a saxophone solo sound so damn unsure of itself.
All Through the Night confirms my belief that Kasabian’s most interesting tracks are those sung by Sergio. That’s one way in which they’ve succeeded at becoming the next Oasis – if you want to call that a success. Kasabian have always been their best at their least assuming and least self-conscious (Put Your Life on It), and For Crying Out Loud is the sound of the band trying too hard. The effort is impressive, but the content leaves a lot to be desired.
There are more ideas packed into this album than in 90% of modern rock records. It’s a shame very few of them are particularly interesting.
Picks: You’re In Love With a Psycho, All Through the Night, Put Your Life on It
When Kasabian released the first single, You’re In Love With a Psycho, I was worried that this album would be average and easily forgettable. Fortunately For Crying Out Loud eased my worries immediately. Ill Ray (The King), the opener, is a statement of intent for the album. The line “be King for a day” shows that Kasabian are here to enjoy themselves and avoid any attempts at deep meaningful thought that even their biggest proponents could tell you are not their forte. Fast paced sounds designed for dancing are plentiful, with particular favourites being Are You Looking for Action? and Bless This Acid House. Behind the killer rhythms subtle guitar riffs and use of synths add enough variation to keep things interesting. Tom Meighan exudes his by now expected level of swagger to match Kasabian’s confidence to great effect throughout.
However, this confidence is interspersed with moments of vulnerability - the line “There’s been so much time wasted without you by my side” from Wasted being a good example - and emotional honesty - Put Your Life On It can only be described as a love song- that even Kasabian’s biggest supporters wouldn’t expect from Kasabian. This ability to surprise continues on in the quieter moments of for Crying Out Loud, portraying a level of musical subtlety that shows what Kasabian are truly capable of. Some unexpectedly brilliant experimentation is added with a foray into reggae in the form of Sixteen Blocks.
For Crying Out loud is unlikely to win over Kasabian’s detractors, but is a treat for anybody not already set against them.
Picks: The Party Never Ends, Are You Looking for Action?, Sixteen Blocks
For Crying Out Loud follows Leicester City’s glorious, miraculous, heroic Premier League title winning season. It’s the musical embodiment of Claudio Ranieri’s most poignant exclamation - “Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong man! Come on!” It is carefree, happy, and a bit weird, just like Kasabian frontman and long-time Leicester fan Serge Pizzorno, who told Radio X “It’s a real feel-good record… It’s an album full of hope, when there’s not a lot of it going around.” Right you are, Serge.
The opening track III Ray (The King) is your classic opener – bare bones, stripped back, a kick drum and a few power chords with some heavily distorted talk-singing from Serge. You’re In Love With a Psycho, however, is a disappointing, cheesy follow-up. The next couple of songs are uninteresting; they blend into a safe contentedness. But three successive tracks in particular are brilliant: Wasted, Comeback Kid, and The Party Never Ends. Wasted begins with twinkling acoustic guitars and breaks into tambourines and happiness. Comeback Kid begins with a fanfare of trumpets and is equally happy and excitable. The Party Never Ends is really different to everything else; a little distant, wavy, but positively interesting. The rest of the album is, again, safe and easy-listening, with the exception of Serge’s self-proclaimed favourite track Are You Looking For Action, clocking in at a decadent and unnecessary 8:22. Overall, not a bad effort. Not Kasabian’s tour de force, but exactly what Serge implies – the “Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong” of this summer’s charts.
Picks: Wasted, Comeback Kid, The Party Never Ends