Album Review: Change The Show // Miles Kane

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On his fourth solo album, Miles Kane has abandoned sharp indie-rock in favour of a more grounded and stable sound.

The four years since his last album have had a transformational impact on the singer’s sound and direction. Feel good-grooves replace fuzzy indie stompers. Change The Show is an album that does just that. 

Throughout his 11-year solo career, Kane has established himself as one of the poster boys of indie rock. His last album – 2018’s Coup de Grace – featured snappy guitars and a boisterous attitude but, after moving away from the Rock ’n’ Roll capital of LA, this record sees the Wirral-born singer relaxing into a stable bedrock of soulful influence.

Change The Show seems to have been built from the ground up. He teamed up with Sunglasses For Jaws’ Dave Bardon and Oscar Robertson to rethink and rerecord its tracks, after its initial completion. The end result is an amalgamation of jazz, soul and funk sounds. Immersive brass sections sit comfortably amongst cheery piano chords, Kiwanuka-inspired backing vocals and jazzy clicking fingers. 

Though Kane’s time with Alex Turner predates Coup de Grace, many of the tracks would fit more comfortably on a The Last Shadow Puppets record; the wobbly guitar sounds, groovy rhythms, and the use of big-band-style brass sections match the kind of instrumental dexterity we’ve seen on a Puppets album, more than they do a conventional Miles Kane solo album. 

The album’s soul influences, while giving the album a distinct groove, also provide a suitable vehicle for Kane to deliver lyrics that reflect on his own life choices. On ‘Coming of Age’ for example, Kane sings: “I sue myself for damages/for mistakes that I have made” and, elsewhere on the track the 35-year-old singer puts previous mistakes down to “acting my age”.

Similarly, the album’s opener, ‘Tears Are Falling’ sees Kane marking a departure from his old life: “It’s a little matter of fact / I’m done with playing the fool” he sings, offering an insight into his desire to move in different directions both personally and musically. 

Whilst Change The Show does, for the most part, exactly what it says on the tin, there are echoes of the fully-fledged indie rock that fans have come to expect from the singer. The album’s title track, as well as ‘Don’t Let It Get You Down’ – which features a spoken word section from Paul O’Grady’s alter ego, Lily Savage – both feature fast tempo rhythms and snappy guitar lines that are, at least in part, reminiscent of the Miles Kane of Old. 

Kane has decided on the direction he wants to go in. It’s a change that might not be welcomed by original fans, but it’s one that fits the singer’s progressing maturity. 

Words by Adam Wright


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