Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Critically it hasn’t been an easy road for Kasabian. They certainly have their fair share of haters, perhaps turned off by their over confident Brit-Rock swagger but things appear to be looking up for album number three. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, try and say that three times fast, has been described by principle songwriter Sergio Pizzorno as “The soundtrack to an imaginary movie” and although I’m not sure that’s how I’d describe the experience, it’s definitely atmospheric and probably Kasabian’s most innovative album thus far.
Carrying on the electronic/rock sound their best known for, Kasabian doesn’t mind to experiment with some more unique sounds and more abstract arrangements this time round. There’s a gritty almost low-fi flair to songs like “Fast Fuse” while tunes like “Secret Alphabets” have more of a middle eastern flavor to them. Naturally you get your typical straight forward rockers such as the catchy “Fire”, “Underdog” and one of my personal favorites “Where Did All The Love Go?” Influences seem to flow from all over the place and although I enjoy all this dabbling into new musical waters, the album never seems to get into a good rhythm.
Kasabian strikes me as the kind of band that has trouble separating the demos from the truly worthy tracks, resulting in a mish mash of some great compositions and then a handful of so-so tracks. Often I find myself completely absorbed in a song and then suddenly detached with a five minute sleeper. This album certainly doesn’t need to be over 50 minutes long and could benefit from trimming some of the fat.
One thing I do love about these guys is the continuing dynamic between vocalist Tom Meighan and guitarist/vocalist Serge Pizzorno. Switching off on lead vocal duties or playing off each other on songs like electro rocker “Vlad the Impaler” (which has an awesome video by the way) is always an entertaining technique.
So overall it has it’s moments but I probably prefer the first two albums. I think Kasabian benefits from a more organized approach to their music… But hey, what do I know? I write like a 14 year old.
Favorite Tracks: “Fire”, “Vlad the Impaler”, “Where Did All the Love Go?”