Miles Kane has made a comeback 5 years in the making with new album Coup De Grace. However, what was supposed to be a “blistering exercise in modern rock n roll”, has unfortunately missed the mark to be more of a scattered attempt at throwing every classic genre into a melting pot, and see what sticks.
By Katie Manning
It’s bad timing for Kane with the release of best pal, and The Last Shadow Puppets bandmate, Alex Turner’s critically successful new album only making the lack of character in this album more starkly obvious. Whereas the AM’s Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino carried forth and extended that easy, lounge, swagger of the Shadow Puppets, Kane’s material remains stagnant. There’s no doubt that Kane and Turner combine to make a great rock band, but because of this we expect more from his solo work. Coup De Grace throughs into question how much of a roll he plays in TLP creative process – does he sit in the corner of the studio, feet up, smoking, whilst sending weird DM’s to girls on tinder? Or has he got that creativity and vision that this solo work desperately needed. This is his third studio solo album since 2011, yet he appears to still be struggling to find his feet, producing a record that’s an easy listen but also easily forgotten.
You can see the process of where he was trying to go; borrow tropes from classic rock and bring on some exciting collaborators, such as Jamie T and Lana Del Ray, to make it modern. However, he brings these tropes forth with none of the original innovation or excitement. It’s got the snarl and streetwise-energy of producer Jamie T written all over it, but with none of the wit or attitude that makes his own music so unique. This is ‘Jamie T presents Miles Kane’, rather than Kane’s own album.
Music and style can combine to create ground-breaking and creative artists, think Rod Stewart, and Mick Jagger. But Kane is stuck in his desire to be a 60s rascal alpha-male Rockstar, hurrying out some tracks in a polo shirt and Gucci loafers. Packing on the reverb to give him some sense of a gruff, retro style. The problem being is he is making music to uphold his persona, rather than to compliment it.
If Kane wanted a punchy album he’s succeeded, with a running total of only half an hour. But unfortunately, the only positive that has arisen from this is how quickly it’s over. Once Kane is focussed on self-discovery, and properly utilises the inspiration he gets from these time-honoured rock stars, that will be an album to watch out for.