Enter Shikari: “A Kiss for the Whole World” Album Review – a blaze of euphoric bangers


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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Brazen-red and alive for a world in crisis: signs of a triumphant Shikari return.

Be my fire lily, on the blackened ground

(pls) set me on fire


When the pandemic struck, Rou Reynolds and co fell into a creative drought. Feeling helpless to the closure of live music worldwide, it was pretty much a witnessing of a bands’ expiration date. The tenth glossary of dark masterpiece Nothing Is True was certainly a summation of that. Released in the midst of lockdown, all of our great unknowns was certainly coming to ahead.

Resurged with the feeling of being back on the road and writing again, Shikari’s Reynolds found his sense of purpose again.

Trail-blazed by a set of DIY residency shows at completely new venues, they had a new journey chartered…>>

Their eleventh, A Kiss From The World, is a justification of that spirited feeling. Hyped with renewed energy, the album simply feels louder and brighter – a throbbing to cut loose; that wilful match to be set alight once again.


The title tracks’ opener is met with a glaring fanfare before a buzz of guitars and plastered percussions welcomes us into the sprawling arms of a new album from the quartet collective, three years on. As we shake the bleary lockdown blues down and let the light in again: “Can this day last forever? / There’s no sign of stormy weather / I could kidnap the sky / And pour it straight into my glass..”

Stalwart Samba-enthused, (pls) set me on fire has moments of Take to the Skies-era of ’07 Shikari, as the now-matured musicians find their flare again for the bright and bushy-tailed anthems that we’ve not had since The Spark. Even the trademark philosophy of Shikari that creeps out is sign as a fledge of positivity in It Hurts. The magic of spontaneity is the message for boundless Leap Into the Lightning; a heavy post-hardcore/trance inflection that we saw on The Mindsweep in bucketfuls.

Despite the attempts of the electro-static quips of Dead Wood and fast and furious Jailbreak adding fuel to the fire, they certainly don’t add much to the kindling already. Brazen-red Bloodshot offers a something little extra different however, as it brings Shikari’s true colours to the album – turning to the societal flaws of outrage culture on social media.

Anthemic – and oddly oceanic-themed all of a sudden – goldfish ~ is a feverish offering with its catchy hooks and lyrics of desolation, that brings Shikari out as their best – and Rou as a political jester trying on a leader for size; you think this water is limitless? it’s stagnant and spiritless / there’s no music, just tinnitus / Jesus ain’t gonna save ya / he’s a sh*t multi-tasker / but I can send you to slaughter / whilst I moon walk on water.” The two-parter of Giant Pacific Octopus (I don’t know you anymore) / …swirling off into infinity is a blistering dancing-to-a-new-identity bop-pop that simply cannot be cramped into a measly two and a half minutes.


After a three-year interval that has been far too long for many, there needn’t be any concern here. What this album lacks in, is nothing on the bountiful of energy in this work but rather, a testament to Shikari’s albums before it; all as good as the last.

A Kiss for the Whole World is more than an album full of simmering hope and high-octane energy. It’s an album that well and truly saved the band too…

Album Easter egg

[While it is an album very much about moving forward, it doesn’t stop Rou, Rory, Chris and Rob from remembering where they came from as many songs have lyrical references to former albums:

We’re true believers / The last of the dreamers – A Kiss for the World x

I went to live outside to find myself / But when I found truth, it was something else – Giant Pacific Octopus]

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