Empire (Kasabian album)

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Empire
Kasabian - Empire.jpg
Studio album by
Released28 August 2006 / 12 April 2008
RecordedFebruary 2006
Genre
Length39:24
LabelParadise, RCA
ProducerJim Abbiss, Kasabian
Kasabian chronology
Kasabian
(2004)
Empire
(2006)
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
(2009)
Singles from Empire
  1. "Empire"
    Released: 24 July 2006
  2. "Shoot the Runner"
    Released: 6 November 2006
  3. "Me Plus One"
    Released: 29 January 2007

Empire is the second album by British rock[1] band Kasabian, released in August 2006. The album went on to No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart upon its release and was preceded by the release of new single "Empire" on 24 July 2006.

According to Tom Meighan in an interview on the album with the NME in early 2006, "Empire" is a word used by the band to describe something that is good. As of 3 May 2017 the album has sold over 800,000 copies in the band's home country of the UK.[2]

Empire was the first full Kasabian album to feature drummer Ian Matthews, who was recruited in 2005. Lead songwriter and guitarist Christopher Karloff left the band in early 2006, during recording of the album, having contributed the music for three tracks.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic65/100[3]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
Boston Phoenix2/5 stars[5]
Entertainment.ie2/5 stars[6]
The Guardian3/5 stars[7]
The Independent3/5 stars link[permanent dead link]
NME9/10[8]
PopMatters6/10 stars[9]
Q4/5 stars (#243, Oct. 2006, p. 116)
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[10]

Empire received mixed-to-positive reviews. Music critics were divided by the band's choices in production and lyricism, despite being better than their self-titled debut. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 65, based on 20 reviews.[3]

Dan Martin of NME found the album better than their self-titled debut, praising the band for mixing all their influences into tracks that can be called their own, saying that: "Through sheer, bloody-minded relief, weapons-graded stamina and a big, big imagination, Kasabian have willed themselves into brilliance."[8] Jason MacNeil of PopMatters found some production choices on the tracks off-putting but said that Empire shows the band's potential of crafting better projects in their given ilk, concluding that: "On the whole, it’s a good second step, but hopefully step three is more in line with the shock and awe the first album contained."[9] Chris Salmon of The Guardian noted that Kasabian's boastful talk of the album resulted in a mixed bag of tracks that fall just shy of their claim, in terms of influenced production and lyricism, saying that: "While Empire isn't an exceptional record, it offers enough to be described as a good one."[7]

AllMusic's David Jeffries commended the band for taking a grand-scale approach to mixing their influences into an Oasis-sized project, but felt they forgot to write catchy tracks to lead the album, saying that: "Lost in all this is the instantly grabbing songwriting of Kasabian's debut, and to some extent, the bandmembers themselves, who often seem to be riding this swirl instead of guiding it."[4] Despite praising a few tracks, Lauren Murphy of Entertainment.ie felt the album was just a retread of their debut with Tom Meighan's vocals starting to sound strained throughout, concluding with: "If Kasabian hadn't attempted to build their Empire by recounting its wonderment prematurely, it might have stood a chance; instead, their audacity just proves them to be, unsurprisingly, more geezer, less Caesar."[6] Peter Relic of Rolling Stone criticized the album for sounding like a rehash of established British rock bands and Meighan for having weak vocal delivery on the tracks, calling it "miles worse than their shallow but tasty first, its big-budget production only making its shortcomings more apparent."[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Sergio Pizzorno, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Empire" (Pizzorno, Christopher Karloff)3:53
2."Shoot the Runner"3:27
3."Last Trip (In Flight)"2:53
4."Me Plus One"2:28
5."Sun Rise Light Flies"4:08
6."Apnoea"1:48
7."By My Side" (Pizzorno, Karloff)4:14
8."Stuntman" (Pizzorno, Karloff)5:19
9."Seek & Destroy"2:15
10."British Legion"3:19
11."The Doberman"5:34
US iTunes Store bonus tracks[11]
No.TitleLength
12."Ketang" (Bonus Track)2:11
13."Heroes (David Bowie cover)" (David Bowie, Brian Eno) (Bonus Track)2:30
14."Empire" (Video)4:52
15."Empire" (Commentary) (Bonus Video)9:43
European iTunes Store bonus tracks[12]
No.TitleLength
12."Shoot the Runner" (Live from XFM)5:21
13."Reason Is Treason" (Live from XFM)4:52
14."Empire" (Live from XFM)4:00
15."The Doberman" (Live from XFM)5:52
16."L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)" (Live from XFM)6:25
Special Edition Bonus DVD
No.TitleLength
1."Empire" (Video) 
2."Empire" (Documentary) 
3."Empire" (Making of) 
Japan Only Bonus Tracks
No.TitleLength
12."Stuntman" (Live from the Radio One Zane Lowe Session) 
13."Empire" (Homecoming with XFM) 
14."Shoot the Runner" (Homecoming with XFM) 
15."Me Plus One" (Homecoming with XFM) 
16."Last Trip (In Flight)" (Homecoming with XFM) 
Japan Only Bonus DVD
No.TitleLength
1."Empire" (Video) 
2."Empire" (Making of) 
3."Empire" (Live at 4Music Presents) 
4."Shoot the Runner" (Video) 
5."Shoot the Runner" (Video - Pre-animation) 
6."Shoot the Runner" (Live at 4Music Presents) 
7."Stuntman" (Live at 4Music Presents) 
8."By My Side" (Live at 4Music Presents) 

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kasabian Planning Special Festival Slots". Clash. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  2. ^ Copsley, Rob. "Kasabian's Official Top 10 Singles Revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Reviews for Empire by Kasabian". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Empire - Kasabian". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  5. ^ Wood, Mikael (11 September 2006). "Review: Kasabian - Empire". Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b Murphy, Lauren (31 August 2006). "Kasabian - Empire". Entertainment.ie. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b Salmon, Chris (25 August 2006). "CD: Kasabian, Empire". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b Martin, Dan (25 August 2006). "Kasabian: Empire". NME. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  9. ^ a b MacNeil, Jason (5 November 2006). "Kasabian: Empire". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b Relic, Peter (7 September 2006). "Kasabian: Empire". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 3 April 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
  11. ^ "iTunes - Music - Empire (Bonus Track Version) by Kasabian". iTunes.
  12. ^ "iTunes - Music - Empire by Kasabian". iTunes.
  13. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Kasabian – Empire". Hung Medien.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Kasabian – Empire". Hung Medien.
  15. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 35, 2006". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  16. ^ "Charts.nz – Kasabian – Empire". Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kasabian – Empire". Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Kasabian | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  19. ^ "Kasabian Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  20. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2006". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2007". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Copsey, Rob (3 May 2017). "Kasabian's Official Top 10 biggest singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Kasabian – Empire". British Phonographic Industry.

External links[edit]