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Kasabian is a terrific debut,
but it's far from complete

Kasabian (RCA)


I saw Kasabian on stage in the middle of a freezing-cold
February night recently, and was blown away by the
power and edge they put on display. I rushed to the stand
after the show to find a CD, only to learn later that their
debut would be a couple of weeks away.

So I waited, eagerly, wanting to recapture what I had felt
that night. So I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed
when I heard the finished product. It’s not that it’s a bad
album – far from it. It’s just that I couldn’t help but feel like it lacked the same spark they demonstrated live.

I refused to write it off, though, and I’m glad I didn’t. This really is a great album that I would’ve left in the dust after
the initial listen, and great albums aren’t meant to be absorbed after the first shot.

Kasabian likely sees themselves as the next in a great line of British bands to emerge since the early 1990s,
and they have all the potential to reach that. Throughout the album, they deftly mix trip-hop beats with soaring
vocal harmonies, excellent guitar lines and all the great subtle electronic touches that never wind up feeling like
a rave. “Processed Beats” and “Reason is Treason” could be chicken soup for the soul of the Oasis or Ride fan
who misses the days when those two bands were at the top of their games. And on “L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever),”
vocalist Tom Meighan shows the anthemic tendencies that could one day propel this band to the top of the
British scene.

Now, Kasabian are probably cocky guys. I’ve never met them, and on stage they seem like a fun, good-hearted
bunch, but that’s the impression I get. It’s because they’re damn good, and they know full well that they’re damn
good. They have a distinct sound that isn’t just original, it’s ballsy, gutsy and brave – you’d have to be brave to be
able to try as many things as they do while still being able to strut on stage and simultaneously sneer at your

So, here lies the only major quarrel I have with their debut – it doesn’t capture all those spirits at once. Do many
albums ever reach that stage? Hardly. But this band both possess the talent one day reach that, so excuse me if
I occasionally expect immediate results.

Kasabian is an excellent record. Their live show is incredible, and if their next few albums fail to reach the same
fever pitch that they display in concert, then you’re free to consider them a disappointment.

But til then, I’ll more than enjoy this record, and if you give it the chance it deserves, you should too.