Enter Shikari – ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’

By Ash Bebbington

The measure of a truly great band is how often and how successfully they can completely reinvent their sound. This is something Enter Shikari have been doing since day one; while every one of their albums sounds quintessentially Shikari, each sounds worlds apart from its predecessor.

As a result, they’ve built an immense amount of trust from a fanbase that is willing to follow them down whichever sonic rabbit hole they venture into. Over the course of a near-two decade career, the genre-bending band have covered a dazzling array of styles from the worlds of rock, electronic, and beyond. So where on the vast spectrum of their former work does Enter Shikari’s latest release fit in?

‘A Kiss For The Whole World’ builds on the poppier, happier sounds they played with on their last record – ‘Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible’ – and dials them up even further. Not only that, but the hooks on this album are unbelievable. Shikari are no strangers to a fantastic chorus hook, but this record really is a hit factory. On your second listen, you’ll know most of the choruses, and on your third, you’ll know every single one inside out.  The result is an absolutely joyous record, Shikari’s catchiest, most instantaneous album yet. The songs sound stadium-ready without the Hertfordshire four-piece losing any of their personality or quality. However, that’s not to say this is a straight-ahead pop record. As you may expect, there are still riffs aplenty, and one song even has a string section.

This is the second Enter Shikari record wholly produced by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rou Reynolds after 2020’s ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’. The production is absolutely sublime, and truly squeezes the best out of each of the tracks on the record.

Of the album’s 12 tracks, 3 are reprises of the track immediately before, meaning there are nine songs proper. Every single one of the nine is an absolute ripper without a single moment of filler. Proceedings kick off in suitably barnstorming fashion with title track ‘A Kiss For The Whole World x’. The song leads with a flamboyant horn section punctuated by scuzzy synths, all of which eventually gives way to a chunky low-end riff that’s drenched in electronic effects. The chorus is triumphant and sounds absolutely massive.

Enter Shikari roll back time with ‘(pls) set me on fire’ which is essentially a pop rock song with uptempo synths high in the mix. The track is a nod to the band’s sound on their earlier records, which were effectively a 50/50 split between the heavier end of rock and electronic music.

‘Leap into the Lightning’ is a euphoric rallying cry, urging the listener to keep going through tough times as Reynolds sings “There’s no use waiting for the storm to blow over, just leap into the lightning”. The theme of mental resilience in the face of adversity is also present on one of the album’s singles, ‘It Hurts’.

It wouldn’t be a Shikari record without a curveball or two, and ‘Dead Wood’ offers more than one. It opens with a string arrangement while Reynolds forlornly croons over the top. However, halfway through the song the strings disappear and it transforms into a huge synth-led singalong with an irresistible hook.

‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Bloodshot’ are two of the album’s standout moments, the former a quick vocal-led track and the latter a dancefloor hit in the making, with dirty electronics and effect-laden vocals.

It’s never easy to predict what an Enter Shikari record will sound like before it comes out, but predicting the level of quality is always a simple task. This is a band that rarely puts a foot wrong, and they’ve proven it once more here. If you’re a fan already, you’ll surely love this record, and if you’re not – it’s as good a place to start as any. ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’ is a triumph, an exhilarating collection of songs by one of the finest bands the UK has produced in the 21st Century.


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