Album Review: Miles Kane's 'Coup De Grace'

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I think it’s unfortunate that Kane has abandoned more successful musical projects, such as The Last Shadow Puppets and The Rascals in favour of a presumably ego-driven solo career. I don’t think his pursuit of frontman glory has come to any particular fruition yet. Through no fault of his own – yet undeniably – the similarity of sound between Kane and his co-musician Alex Turner, lead singer of The Arctic Monkeys and Kane’s co-founder of The Last Shadow Puppets, is almost cringe-worthy.

In his latest solo release, Coup de Grace, this similarity is made even more unfortunate for Kane by the overall effect of the album sounding not dissimilar to what I think the reject songs from the Arctic Monkeys’ phenomenally successful AM might have sounded like. From the opening lyric of the album, ‘Give me something for the guillotine,/Give me something for your heart’, he’s immediately established in my brain as a second-rate Turner imitator. As Kane laments himself to be ‘too little too late’, I can’t help but agree. He’s missed the boat on the heyday of the noughties’ indie-rock sound he’s attempting to emulate, and Coup de Grace thus becomes a collection of songs washed up over a decade later.

The songs aren’t necessarily bad, but for the majority, they are simply boring. The lyrics feel lazy and over-worn, as Kane moans, ‘And everybody tells me that it’s/Shalalala, oh yeah’, in the bizarrely cheerful, ‘Crying on my Guitar’. Kane evidently can’t muster up the effort to finish the line, and frankly I can’t really be bothered to listen. That being said, as Kane slows down his artificial-sounding energy, I enjoyed ‘Killing the Joke’ above all other tracks from the album – although I can’t help feeling that the song’s opening is starkly reminiscent of ‘Stuck on the Puzzle’, from Turner’s solo album Submarine. It’s evident what Kane is attempting to do with his latest release, but something about the album makes it feel extremely forced. The jarringly rapid and crashing tempo of the opening track sets the precedent for the rest of the album: Kane’s eager to get it over with, and so am I.

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