Release Date: September 19, 2006 (US)
While Empire may not be the earth shattering, groundbreaking savior of music the band were (impossibly) predicting, it is an above average follow-up. There are no instant smashes here along the lines of their debut’s Club Foot or L.S.F., but the record feels more consistent than their debut. Their sound has been streamlined somewhat and there’s a glam influence to many of the songs. Kasabian are at their best with loud, succinct stompers like the title track and Shoot The Runner.
Kasabian have also recorded two of the most dance-oriented songs that they’ve ever produced in Stuntman and By My Side, each of which throbs with pulsing dance floor beats. There is also a light folk touch in some of the more down tempo tracks (Me Plus One, British Legion).
However, as on their debut, the band can sometimes get lost in aimless soundscapes that do little to enhance their songs. Closer The Doberman, for all its pomp and grandeur, seems excessively overblown for such an average song. Similarly, Sun Rise Light Flies is pushed to sound epic but falls short because the song isn’t strong enough. And thank god Apnoea is the shortest track on the album. Otherwise, its barrage of techno noise would cause multiple headaches. Still, although Empire is not an obvious smash, it is a worthy follow-up that shows just enough artistic growth for the listener to assume that Kasabian have a few more records left in them. B
Key Tracks: Stuntman, Empire, Shoot The Runner