Album Review: Enter Shikari – The Spark

I have been waiting so long for this album. I got into Enter Shikari just after the release of their last album, The Mindsweep, and instantly fell in love. The sheer creativity of the band was enough to get me to love a band, but mix that with the political messages they spread and you get something else. It always intrigued me that they could fit so many different styles into their music and make them all sound so great together. Having said that, Rou Reynolds, the band’s lead singer promised to reign things in a bit on this album, focusing on fitting ‘one idea per song’. And that seems to have worked well so far; the two lead singles from the album, ‘Live Outside’ and ‘Rabble Rouser’ are both incredible songs, marking some of the band’s best work to date. The question is, how is the rest of the record?

To answer this question in short: incredible. To put it into more words, read on. The album is clearly a lot softer than much of Enter Shikari’s previous work, and that will disappoint lots of fans. But that doesn’t reflect on the quality of the album at all, and I feel like those same fans will grow to love the album for the sheer quality of the content on there. For example, for fans who love the political side of their music, ‘Take My Country Back’ will be right up their street, spreading a truly positive message (the name is misleading). For those who want a darker song, ‘Rabble Rouser’ is excellent in that respect, with the sinister lyrics and dark sound. For those who want something emotional, both ‘An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces’ and ‘Airfield’ mark some of the most personal an honest songs Reynolds has ever written.

And they aren’t the only incredible songs here: ‘Undercover Agents’ and ‘The Sights’ are pop-rock gems, and ‘The Revolt Of The Atoms’ is unlike anything the band have written before. There really is something for everyone on this album. But I have one criticism. This album may appear to have 11 tracks, but the opening and closing tracks are less than 2 minutes between them, acting as an introduction and ending to the album, meaning the number of actual songs on the record is only nine. I just feel like this isn’t long enough for an album, but it is easily forgiven with regards to the quality on show.

In conclusion, what an album this is! Enter Shikari continue to change and evolve with each record that they make, without a single drop in quality. This album is one of their most personal and intimate to date, and I feel like it was a very important record for the band to put out. For the moment, I will treasure and enjoy this record, but I can’t wait for the next one, so I can go through the incredible feeling of listening to a new Enter Shikari record again.

Best songs: Live Outside, Rabble Rouser, Take My Country Back, An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces

Score: 9/10

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