Sound — 9
When the massive success of "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" hit Kasabian, even they knew it would be a hard act to follow. Happily, though, I am able to report Kasabian have pulled it off with "Velociraptor!", even if the results take a few listens to finally get. Of course, sonically, Kasabian have always been a band of many sounds, mixing rock'n'roll, electronica, hip-hop and psychedelia, among others. This album is no different, but feels a bit more straightforward compared to "West Ryder...". The band have also called their fourth a "jukebox" record, in which it is like turning on the radio and getting one good song after another. However, I doubt six minute long orchestral epics would appear on the radio much, even at all.
Lyrics — 9
Kasabian's lyrics have drawn a line straight down the middle of music: those who think Serge Pizzorno should just stick to playing guitar and those who take every word coming out of Tom Meighan's lips like he's a prophet. I find Pizzorno to be a good songwriter; he has the ability to write songs in different styles and moods in a breeze, and has come up with some of the UK's most treasured anthems (see: "Club Foot", "L.S.F.", and "Fire"). Here, his lyrics and Meighan's vocals have improved drastically, with "Let's Roll Just Like We Used To" being a highlight. And it's not just Meighan who sings to, with Pizzorno also providing prominent backing vocals and even singing a few tunes of his own (like "La Fee Verte"). His voice too has strengthened since the early days of Kasabian.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I love this album. It's nearly but not as good as their real game-changer, "West Ryder...", and I think the boys have hyped "Velociraptor!" a bit too much compared to their previous effort. Afterall, most people will dismiss this as a failure, instead of the deep, poetic, and - most importantly - rocking album. So: "Velociraptor!" - the album of the year? In my opinion yes, but it's "West Ryder..." that takes the decade. Download: - "Let's Roll Just Like We Used To" - "Days Are Forgotten" - "Velociraptor!" - "Re-Wired" - "Switchblade Smiles"