Miles Kane has been eager to make a name for himself in his own right ever since Last Shadow Puppets, and generally being heralded as Alex Turner’s bezzie. His 2011 debut solo album Colour Of The Trap tried it’s hardest, with delightful 60s ditties and upbeat old-school pop-rock; but never quite managed to grab the attention of the masses.
Now Kane’s back with follow-up Don’t Forget Who You Are, with a little help from friends Paul Weller, Kid Harpoon, Ian Broudie and Andy Partridge. And boy does it pack much more of a punch than his debut. With readymade anthems, a touch of glam-rock and some dirtier guitars than before, this is an album that can’t be switched off easily.
Sing-along title track Don’t Forget Who You Are is as much a testament to Kane’s roots and mod-influence as it is a mark of distinction separating him from the rest of the chart-hoggers at the moment. The real high point of the album though is feelgood track Better Than That. With lyrical references to The Beatles and generally having a good time frolicking about in rock n roll love, this track is bound to dominate summer playlists. Darkness In Our Hearts follows this theme, with a jangly, up-beat sing-along chorus, which if you listen closely is actually riddled with unhappiness and insecurity, but the toe-tapping nature of the track leaves you unable to stop humming along.
Another highlight of this musical history lesson is the very obviously Weller influenced (well, it was co-written by the man himself) You’re Gonna Get It. The clapping and repetitively stomping chorus are undeniable. Deluxe edition purchasers are treated to more from Weller, on Start of Something Big, as well as a couple of other extras too, including the 2012 Record Store Day stomper First Of My Kind.
The album art for Don’t Forget Who You Are stays true to the title, with Kane standing outside the butcher’s shop where his mother works. The message is clear; Kane knows where he came from and is in no hurry to forget that on his quest for solo superstardom. More importantly though, with an album as strong as this, listeners are also unlikely to forget who Kane is in a hurry.