Hippies, hemp clothing reeking of incense and marijuana, sticking it to the Man, and the evolution of rock and roll. Usually, the first thing that comes to mind with the mention of these phrases is the '60s. With the release of Kasabian's Empire, we see a collection of music embodying exactly what made '60s psychedelia great: the effort to rise against the norm and create a new standard of excellence. At a time when it's hard to expect anything other than watered down pop-rock drivel, Empire delivers.
Vintage sounds and an eclectic feel represent a move from Kasabian's early work to an edgier, more revolutionary sound. In an industry where a band's sound tends to mellow with age, this collection shows a certain Brit swagger, described by Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno as a "monstrous leap" from their first works. Pizzorno even goes so far as to boast the band is now in league with rock legends like the Who, the Rolling Stones and Oasis. After too many years of musical filler, this album is a return to pure and unadulterated evolution in sound.