Empire was released 10 years ago today, and we thought it's not really fair that the debut album gets its own party and this lovely thing doesn't, so we're currently collecting some memories all over the place.
What are your favourite things about the album? Any special memories? What did you think when you heard it for the first time? Do you still feel the same? What are your favourite songs? Did you go to any gigs of the Empire tour?
As I might have mentioned before (a dozen times? ) "Empire" is not only my favorite Kasabian album, it was also the one that got me started. In addition, it is one of those magical albums where, after having bought it totally blindly, just on basis of the title song that just refused to leave my head, I loved each and every song, right from the start. Every time I listen to it, especially after a longer pause, I am freshly blown away by what it does to me and how much I love it. It certainly would have a place among my desert island discs.
What did I first think, as someone who did not know Kasabian yet? "Electro Britpop*, why the hell do I like that? What happened there? Who cares, let's spin it again!" *Sorry, that's how I categorized it then, kind of from the top of my head.
Favorite songs? Empire, Last trip (in flight), The doberman
But then, I love how the whole album feels like exactly that, an entity that should not be disturbed. I don't think I ever did not listen to the whole thing and there is not one song I do not like.
Other thoughts, I think the video for the title song is quite brilliant, like a mini movie.
While nowhere near my favorite, I think it is their BRAVEST album. They lost half of their creative brain trust during the making of their sophomore release because Kris Karlof wanted it to sound more like the debut, and Serge wanted to branch out and play with more genres and styles. Instead of abandoning the recording process to regroup, Kasabian worked on the fly to create new tunes and expand their sound into new sonic territory with reckless abandon. The result was Empire Did it work the wanted to? Not always...
Empire starts strong with a solid 4 song streak of the title track, Shoot The Runner, Last Trip (In Flight), and Me Plus One. Bland production hurts what you can tell the band wanted to be a signature track in Sun Rise Light Flies. Apnoea is an interesting little mini-freakout that doesn't really hurt or help the flow of things. By My Side is so criminally underrated it hurts. Stuntman and Seek And Destroy are great in their own right but seem a bit lacking musically. But then - BUT THEN - we get the best one-two combo of an ending out of their career thus far with the beautiful British Legion and the epic closer, The Doberman. It's just about impossible for me to hear British Legion without needing to hear The Doberman immediately after.
There's a clash of ideologies in the DNA of Empire. And though it's not the album's fault, it made it the least impressive entry in their discography for almost 8 years until 48:13 came out in the summer of 2014. As it stands, it has both some of their strongest material and some of their weakest. 7.5/10