Saturday, March 03, 2007

Yours Truly, Angry Mob - Kaiser Chiefs

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The immediate thing that springs to mind when getting this CD is how serious all the band look on the front cover. You also get the feeling that this is no idle gesture; if there is one thing that may have soured the boys from Leeds rise to the top its that some people just refuse to take them seriously - and that is something that really pisses them off.

Now I might be just one of those people who has that effect on them. I was never really all that fussed with Employment (even less so when my mate PJ spent an hour telling me how great the album was before finally admitting that he hadn't yet listened to it). Singles wise it was alright, but there was pretty much nothing else to recommend. It was listenable, for sure, but burn me Oh My God and Everyday I Love You Less & Less onto a CD and I could quite happily never hear the rest again. (No, I'm not a fan of I Predict A Riot).

But despite all that (and an NME tour that saw me preferring support act Maximo Park) I would say that I actually quite like the Kaiser's. At the very least they were a welcome distraction from the all-to-worthy and dull acts that take up most of the airwaves.

Stephen Street is back at the producing helm and it shows. In fact my first thoughts upon listening to this CD were it's stylistic similarities to The Great Escape, that much lamented Blur album that I actually thought was one of their best.

Indeed we start off on a high point, the extremely catchy lead single Ruby and this is followed by the terrific Angry Mob which, despite the band's insistence that it won't be, surely will be the single that lights up the summer. Things arguably get even better on the third track, Heat Dies Down which pulls off the Parklife-Great Escape trick of wrapping more cynical lyrics in the same catchy melodies that set the Kaiser's on their way to chart stardom.

Sadly this is then followed by the lamentable Highroyds and then we're onto a patchy album indeed. Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) may be a funny title, but its not a very great song, My Kind Of Guy sounds like a Blur out-take that deservedly never saw the light of the day, and Everything Is Average Now feels like the band on auto-pilot as if they decided they needed a song like something off Employment.

There are highlights beyond the opening three tracks though. I Can Do Without You proves that there is more to the band than Employment might have suggested and Thank You Very Much just about survives the opening that sounds a lot like I Predict A Riot to become a classic "shout-a-long" tune.

Once again the Kaiser Chiefs have delivered a somewhat frustrating album. There are flashes of brilliance but there's also a fair bit of filler. Still that didn't stop the huge success of their debut and I suspect that there are enough killer singles to be farmed from Yours Truly, Angry Mob to ensure that this will be an even bigger commercial success. I just hope that next time around, the absolutely killer album that seems to be within the Chief's grasp can be well and truly unleashed.

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