The ‘Modfather-elect’ Miles Kane returns with his fourth solo album, Change The Show. The album is dripping head to toe in ‘60’s nostalgia, to the point where it could be mistaken for an album of carefully selected Northern Soul covers that are executed well with Kane’s charm and charisma. Change the Show is not Kane’s most ambitious record but it serves its purpose as a solid collection of feel-good bops that will infect festival crowds all over the country this summer.
After nearly writing the record off, Kane roped in Bethnal Green outfit, Sunglasses For Jaws to help craft the album after being inspired by them following an impromptu jam session. The result is a bold, brash collection of Spector-style Soul tunes with a signature Miles Kane shriek thrown in for good measure.
The album is very clear in its identity, a homage to Kane’s influences that he says deals with “an intense period of self-reflection,” which makes sense considering the strong hint of nostalgia that oozes from the record. Tracks like ‘Coming Of Age’ and ‘Tell Me What You’re Feeling’ could have easily been lifted from the cutting room floor of Hitsville USA during Motown’s heyday. Despite the clear influences, Kane delivers the songs on Change The Show with such conviction that they feel authentic.
The album features a few surprise cameos which add to the charm of it all. Fellow Birkenheader Paul O’Grady’s infamous alter-ego, Lily Savage kicks off proceedings with a sample on ‘Don’t Let It Get You Down’. Kane said that O’Grady revealed himself to be a fan of his and offered to reprise his role for the track due to fears that the BBC would be ‘tight b*******” when it came to clearing the sample. The track itself is much more typical of the Miles Kane from 2018’s Coup De Grace, with fizzing vibrato licks and a glam drive.
The second feature is the album’s highlight for me. Kane teams up Corinne Bailey Rae on the recent single, ‘Nothing’s Ever Gonna Be Good Enough’. The pair go back and forth playfully over a Northern Soul backbeat that is completed by stabs of brass and guitar. It’s something like the Noughties-era equivalent to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell on ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, it really is that good.
Change The Show is a comfortable amalgamation of everything Miles Kane is and loves. There’s tinges of his Mod beginnings as well as elements of his work with Alex Turner on their 2016 album, Everything You’ve Come To Expect. There are dancefloor fillers and careful crooners, like you’d expect to find on any good Al Green record. Kane has managed to capture a tumultuous time in his life with the familiar balance of a nostalgic soul.
Listen to Miles Kane here: