West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
It is said that talent imitates, and genius steals. By that reckoning, Coldplay are smart, Art Brut are geniuses, and Kasabian are nothing short of fucking brilliant. This is only fitting, though; they are widely billed to be the heirs to Oasis, appointed by Noel himself, which is to say they come from a fine line of exceptional thieves. Now, of course, this is somewhat unfair, as there isn't a band worth their salt who've not stolen material, and that's such a grey term as it is, but a friend of mine put it best: "Kasabian sound like they listened to the same records as Oasis, then ran in a different direction."
Kasabian's last album, Empire, was the big break-through. I loved it at first, but it wore me down after a while, and sounded trite. The new one may or may not fair better, but I can say it seems somewhat improved. The boys don't sound as though they are trying to conquer the world, like they did last time. This is a more laid-back affair, and it suits them. They've always had a slight experimental edge to them, but it's always hard to pin down; you can tell they've done something unusual, but you'd be damned if you could say what it is. There's nothing earth-shattering to be found. Just competent lad-rock.
I must also applaud the greatest piece of pilfering they've managed yet, when the closing track, "Happiness," turns into "You Can't Always Get What You Want," choir and everything.