Kula Shaker: K 2.0

Fifth album from often reviled sitar rockers.

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Crispian Mills was a Britpop-era kicking boy, partly through some sense that the spawn of a famous acting dynasty (he’s Hayley Mills’s son; Sir John Mills’s grandson) was slumming/faking it, partly due to a tendency to run his mouth off and partly because of the extent to which he was in hock to the psychedelic 60s.

Looking back, though, he was probably no more or less of a retrophile than Oasis. Perhaps it was the period details, the over-generous use of sitar and buffoonish allusions to all things Eastern and mystical.

He’s still at it on this follow-up to 2010’s Pilgrim’s Progress. But that’s not to say the results aren’t entertaining. If you can stomach the shiny, happy impression of someone who has just had his mind expanded – titles include Infinite Sun, Holy Flame and Love B (With U) – you will enjoy the groovy, catchy tunes, all guitar hooks and handclaps.

It’s derivative as hell, of course. Infinite Sun is very Hari Georgeson; you can tell who Mills’s favourite Beatle is. On 33 Crows he channels his inner Dylan, giving it lots of nasal drawl. Holy Flame brings things up to date, recalling Dandy Warhols. If you fancy some 60s-centric pop-rock, this might work.

Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.