48:13, the latest album from Leicester band Kasabian, takes a more experimental tone than their previous albums, yet still manages to produce the same iconic sound of
48:13, the latest album from Leicester band Kasabian, takes a more experimental tone than their previous albums, yet still manages to produce the same iconic sound of the band.
It is an album that deserves a listen from any fan of theirs, whether you’ve been listening since their self-titled album Kasabian in 2004, or have only recently taken notice of them with the release of their new single “Eez-eh.”
It is definitely, by far, the album of this summer.
Taking its name simply from the length of the album, 48:13 marks a new turn for the band. The single “Eez-eh” has already proved a massive success for Kasabian, entering into the top 20 in the UK Charts. The success of “Eez-eh” is echoed by the clear success of the album overall, with it taking the top spot on the UK Albums chart last weekend.
The album has already entered the popular ranks of their three previous UK Album chart-toppers, Empire (2006), West Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009), and Velociraptor! (2011).
It is no wonder why people have taken to 48:13 so quickly. The opening prelude, “(shiva)”, builds up the anticipation perfectly for the first and most impacting track of the album, “Bumblebeee”, as well as featuring past rhythms from their first album, Kasabian, which is ten years old this September.
“Bumblebeee,” by far the stand-out track of the album, does not fail to deliver the iconic, individual sound of Kasabian. It is clear when listening to this that it is another guaranteed hit for the band, and will most probably feature as many peoples’ summer soundtrack.
Powerful, unmistakable vocals
Some other tracks on the album – “Treat”, “Explodes” and “Bow” – similarly stand out. “Treat,” the longest on the album at nearly seven minutes long, acts as a symbolic shift from old to new Kasabian. It beautifully combines past sounds from their first album, Kasabian, with the experimental sounds of 48:13.
Another stand-out track, “Explodes,” demonstrates exactly what the band are capable of. The new sounds created here balance well against the powerful, unmistakable vocals of Tom Meighan. “Bow,” the penultimate song, manages to calm the album, whilst providing another brilliant track and a further example of Meighan’s vocal ability.
This is not to say that the album is without its flaws. Back in January, Meighan claimed that their new album was so dangerous and left-field, that he worried for other bands out there in the industry. Meighan was right that the new album has taken a more left-field approach, especially within their track ‘Glass.’
‘Glass’ opens with the familiar sounds of Kasabian, bringing you back to memories of slow tracks like ‘Days of Forgotten’ from their previous album Velociraptor!
But then it moves into more experimental beats and an odd, poetic rap towards the end of the track, removing all those memories of past Kasabian. The poetic piece towards the end of ‘Glass’ contains some political, and arguably left-field, lyrics, taking the band in a newer, more radical direction.
Yet this is something I would normally expect from Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip or Enter Shikari, and not from the likes of Kasabian. The band may have tried to be more left-field and experimental, but the political, poetic rant featured during ‘Glass’ doesn’t suit their sound and falls short.
Divided up their new sounds from their old sounds
The flow of the album is unfortunately affected by the interludes, “(mortis)” and “(levitation),” which divide up the album into what feels like three, very separate parts. It feels as if the band have divided up their new sounds from their old sounds, which as a result has distorted the overall flow.
It’s unclear whether this has been done to symbolically mark a change for the band, allowing them to demonstrate who they want to define themselves as, or whether it has been done so people don’t feel lost amongst their new experiments, and at least have older, more traditional tracks to rely on. Kasabian have taken a risk with this album, but the lengths to which it is “dangerous”, as Tom Meighan stated, are debateable.
Despite the albums occasional flaws, 48:13 is an absolute masterpiece. Kasabian have produced a soundtrack for the summer that many people can listen to and enjoy. Even though their experimental sounds haven’t quite worked throughout all of the album, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t an overall success. 48:13 not only demonstrates just how far Kasabian have grown as a band over the past 10 years, but also how much further they can grow.
This latest album is one you must listen to.
What do you think of the album? Have your say in the comments section below.