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King Khan And The Shrines - Idle No More

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 17 / 9 / 2013

King Khan And The Shrines - Idle No More
Label: Merge Records
Format: CD


Inventive fusion of soul and punk on first album in six years from Montreal-based band, King Khan and the Shrinnes

There are sophisticated fleshtones on this clichéd ride through merry 1960's punky R&B songs, which occasionally prove too sunny for their own good. It is the sort of album that pub-owners will love, but it even worthy the odd spin in a nightclub, as crooning King Khan has broguht a big band too. Putting the cabaret and vaudeville in rhythm and blues has allowed Khan to find new ways to interpret old classics. On 'Pray for Lil', Santaclaus with his glockenspiel turns up to borrow guitar licks from Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh, Well'. 'Idle No More' is an album very much in the vein of the greatest that Make Up from DC ever recorded, blending soul and punk rock music. Gorgeous brass arrangements, meant to show you to your rocking chair, do their jobs. Still this remains white soul music, and too clean-cut. A burden soon overcome, since, needless to mention, during a whole six years' absence, Khan has written a wealth of songs to choose from. This dynamite dozen offers Shoo-Bee-Doo-Ah doo-wop with jaunty string arrangements which must be considered very tongue-in-cheek. Khan shan't lose his street credibility because of this new album, but he's teasing the style border guards here. One thing is for sure, he won't be fined for abusing the tambourine, like so many retro culprits do. Twisting and shouting whilst flirting with authenticity, his gift for melody stands proud. Maybe he should do a Steve Albini next. The few seconds of majestic freeform in the intro to the closing track 'Of Madness I Dream' hint at even greater things ahead. I won't mind waiting another six years. 'Idle No More' has proved worth the anticipation.

Track Listing:-
1 Born to Die
2 Bite My Tongue
3 Thorn In Her Pride
4 Luckiest Man
5 Better Luck Next Time
6 Darkness
7 Pray for Lil
8 Bad Boy
9 So Wild
10 Yes I Can't
11 I Got Made
12 Of Madness I Dream

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