Music Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Enter Shikari – A Kiss For The Whole World

Photo Credit: Jamie Waters

It’s been three years since Enter Shikari released their last record, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, and a lot has changed since then – for the outside world, as well as for the band. A pandemic has come and gone, during which the St. Albans band headlined a test edition of Download Festival, a war broke out in Eastern Europe, and many more such events, all of which have left their mark on the world as well as the band. In the case of the latter, this mark has made itself known as the newest Enter Shikari album, A Kiss For The Whole World.

Marketed as what the band are calling their first entry within their second act, fans will be pleased to hear that it packs a serious punch. Right from the get-go with opening track A Kiss for the Whole World x, rousing fanfares and rapid rhythms welcome listeners back into the head of bandleader Rou Reynolds. This barrage of high-speed energy continues into the massive first single, (pls) set me on fire, as well as later track Jailbreak and its uplifting message of self-acceptance, and, to a lesser extent, closer song Giant Pacific Octopus (i don’t know you anymore) and its memorable lead guitar work.

Elsewhere on the album, the signature use of heavy electronica elements and rave-worthy synths returns on tracks such as It Hurts, Leap into the Lightning, which reminds one of The Spark track Rabble Rouser through its synth-led verses, or newest single Bloodshot, all of which blend these elements with the usual guitars and drums expected of the band. This blend of electronic elements and heavier ones carries through to goldf?sh ~ and its heavy verses, which contrast with the cheerful sound of its choruses.

What might be surprising to some, and less so to others, is the continued and pronounced presence of classical elements throughout the album, all of which started with Elegy for Extinction on A Kiss For The Whole World’s predecessor. From the brass fanfare of the opening track and Jailbreak, to the increased string presence on Dead Wood and bloodshot (coda), the band have become more creative in their use of such elements and instruments, which is always lovely to see. The numerous references sprinkled throughout the record are as surprising and welcome as they’ve ever been, with nods to past tracks such as Live Outside, { the dreamer’s hotel }, new track (pls) set me on fire, and even a cheeky mention of the classic story of Pinocchio.

Though the album is fantastic overall, one could not be faulted for wishing the band had chosen to include more tracks instead of interludes yet again, well done as they may be, especially when this album clocks in as their shortest release thus far. The lack of more ‘ambitious’ tracks in scope, such as Marionettes Parts 1&2 off its predecessor would have also helped in making this album feel less ‘safe’, even though it ends up being a more than acceptable successor to Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible.

In short, with plenty of high-octane riffs and synths, a good blend of classical elements, and even the occasional scream or two, A Kiss For The Whole World is a perfectly suitable new album by Enter Shikari. Though it ends up being a little shorter than we’d care for, and its placement after Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible can make it come across as a ‘safer’ entry, everyone can rest assured that the four-piece did not disappoint us this time, either.


Standout Tracks: A Kiss for the Whole World x, (pls) set me on fire, Dead Wood, Bloodshot, Giant Pacific Octopus (i don’t know you anymore)

For Fans Of: Crossfaith, Bring Me The Horizon, Linkin Park, Hacktivist

Written by: Florin Petrut

Tags : enter shikari
Florin Petrut
Romanian journo that's into most geek stuff; when I'm not raving about music, I'm probably watching a TV show or a Marvel movie, and oh look, is that The Legend of Zelda??