18 months in the making, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is the much-anticipated new album from indie rockers Kasabian. With their stunning self-titled debut in 2004 and 2006's number 1, Empire, behind them, the critically acclaimed Leicestershire five piece return with an album glimmering with newfound electronic and funk influences.
The distorted, swaggering opening guitars of the opening track, 'Underdog', get the album off to a familiar start. But it's not long before the influence of hip-hop/electronica producer Dan The Automator (famed for his work on the first Gorillaz album) becomes apparent. The bass-heavy 'Swarfiga' finds the band entering experimental territory, whilst the dark, electro undertones of single 'Fire' soon erupt into an edgy, dance chorus. The beautiful 'Where Did All The Love Go?' is a string-laden epic demonstrating a sensitive, almost fragile side to the quintet's often brash playing, whilst the laid-back, slow tempo of 'Thick As Thieves' fits comfortably alongside the regular bursts of the cutting rock guitars we've come to expect from one of the UK's most exhilarating indie bands. Popular American starlet Rosario Dawson duets on the glorious 'West Ryder/Silver Bullet', a contrast to the storming 'Fast Fuse', a song which may be familiar to computer gamers as it features prominently on FIFA 09. The chaotic 'Vlad The Impaler' is a turbo-charged rock anthem and an album highlight - undoubtedly one of Kasabian's finest moments in their already impressive recording history.
Whilst never dismissing their indie guitar roots, Kasabian have successfully embraced new ground with their third album. The hip-hop and electronica elements have added a confident, funky edge to their work, and as a result West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is arguably their most exciting release to date.
02.) Where Did All The Love Go?
04.) Fast Fuse
05.) Take Aim
06.) Thick As Thieves
07.) West Ryder Silver Bullet
08.) Vlad The Impaler
09.) Ladies & Gentlemen (Roll The Dice)
10.) Secret Alphabets