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After the success of their debut album Employment, the Kaiser Chiefs tried to replicate its success with Yours Truly, Angry Mob in 2007. Publicity was kick-started with first single Ruby, which was reasonably successful.
In many ways, Yours Truly, Angry Mob followed the same catchy indie-pop formula of Employment, which harked back to the melodies, instruments and preoccupation with the mundane events of everyday life of 90s Britpop. Title track Ruby and Heat Dies Down are energetic indie tracks along those lines, with lyrics about commitment phobia and arguments about the rent. Learnt My Lesson Well describes a situation in which the protagonist has been kicked out of their flat and is waiting around for someone to come and pick them up with all their things ("Life could be worse / You could leave in a hearse").
As with their debut album, Yours Truly contains superficial social commentary: The Angry Mob seems to be about reactionary newspaper (*cough* Daily Mail *cough*) readers who believe everything they read in the papers and are generally easily led. It also has its fair share of daftness, such as in closing track Retirement ("I want to retire... /leave the party in style and have to be carried out").
Nostalgia holds sway in Highroyds ("I remember nights out when we were young / They weren't very good, they were rubbish") and Everything Is Average Nowadays("All I need is a ball and a wall or a sledge and a hill in heavy weather"), another high-energy guitar-driven track.
Things slow down a little on quirky love songs like Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning), and the amusing piano-laden Boxing Champ ("You were a boxing champ, and I was a weakling / You didn't give me a chance, you gave me a beating").
Again, fun and witty lyrics are the order of the day and I hope I've given enough examples above to illustrate this. The album repays repeated listening just to catch more of these gems!
2. The Angry Mob
3. Heat Dies Down
5. Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
6. Thank You Very Much
7. I Can Do It Without You
8. My Kind Of Guy
9. Everything Is Average Nowadays
10. Boxing Champ
11. Learnt My Lesson Well
12. Try Your Best
While initially Yours Truly, Angry Mob took a little while to grow on me, lacking anything as catchy as I Predict A Riot, I grew to really enjoy it. As a whole the songs are even better than those on the band's first album so I'm going to give it five stars as well.
This album is a hidden gem and is not thought of as highly as it should be. The follow up to the debut album smash Employment. Leeds' finest released Yours Truly, Angry Mob.
The opening track is without a doubt the most well known of the tracks on the album. Ruby moved the Kaiser Chiefs up to the next platform as they began to appeal to the more main steam audience.
The second track - Angry Mob in my opinion is probably the best track on the album. Love's Not A competition (But I'm Winning) is a really good track just to chill out to. Thank You Very Much and I Can Do It Without You are very up tempo tracks in the middle part of the album. The very high paced Everything Is Average Nowadays is also one worth listening to. It all finishes off with the sing a long Retirement.
This album came amid a flurry of hype and excitement for the Kaiser Chiefs. Since it, the furore around them has died some what. This album is the beginning of the end.
I like to see bands that over time develop into better and better artists, but this presents a complete reversal of this. Whereas the first album gave catchy hooks left right and centre, this album tries to recreate that with minimal success. Sure there are a smattering of good songs, Ruby is always a favourite, Angry mob, retirement and holroyds all would be worthy of the first album's success, but four good songs does not make a good album.
This album seems to be quite angry, Thank You Very Much snarls and bites and Everything's Average Nowadays is so average you start to wonder whether it was written as a joke with the song title. Love's Not a competition showcases the band's ballad techniques, but comes across a bit arrogant and is just too forgettable.
The main problem with this album is that the hooks are not as catchy and it, as a collective, sounds fairly mundane and inoffensive. Nothing particularly intrudes in the mind other than the hooks of the aforementioned songs, it leaves you feeling underwhelmed.
The 2007-released album from the Kaiser Chiefs, follow-up album to the 2005 smash-hit Employment album? Is it worth getting? This is my track-by-track analysis of the album contents and my recommendation.
1. Ruby - 3 minutes 25 seconds
The group are apparently fed up of fans telling them that they have named a daughter 'Ruby' after this track, but this what happens when you have a successful single - so expect a whole crop of Ruby's to hit the school system in another couple of years and if half the girls at your kids parties are called Ruby, you know who to blame.
This is quite a 'pop' song by the standards of this somewhat 'anti-pop' group, although still with the hard-edged, almost atonal tinny guitar cutting through it.
The lyric is cogent and progressive and is more Blur-type irony that punk-era anger. "Due to lack of interest/Tomorrow is cancelled/Let the clocks be reset/And the pendulums held/Cause there's nothing at all/Except the space in-between/Finding out what you're called/And repeating your name"
This was a big hit and will be a sure fire crowd pleaser in stadiums. A great opener to the album and 8 out of 10 from me.
2. The Angry Mob 4 minutes 48 seconds
The Angry Mob of the album title, the track opens with the street noise of an inner city disturbance before the melody-proper kicks in. This sound is more 90's Brit Pop (well, Brit Rock, then) and could be Oasis except it's better than almost anything Oasis has ever done.
An amusing reference to 'Jim'll Fix It' resides in the lyric "So here we go with a letter/Can you fix it for me/Because we need entertainment/To keep us all off the streets/So tonight you'll sleep softly in your beds". This is the 'call to arms' with the suggestion surely that 'as ye sow, so shall ye reap!'
This track suddenly changes and you almost think another track has begun, but it's just the transition to a part of the track that was surely made to have a marching mob scene on the accompanying MTV pop video.
Good track, gets a 7 out of 10 from me.
3. Heat Dies Down 3 minutes 57 seconds
An almost 'Housemartins' lyric line here is mixed with a hard rock guitar line. It sounds like it should jar, but with a mix that could be by Blur from their 'In The Country' period and somehow it doesn't.
I don't know the back story but this does sound quite personal and seems to be reflecting on something that happened, and it is quite a wry look at it, too: 'So I tried that night/To do all the things I thought you'd like/But that just made it worse/And I impressed you not/Well, not a lot'.
Great song, 8/10
4. Highroyds 3 minutes 20 seconds
This track comes off the heavy rock and goes for the camper Glam Rock end of the spectrum - this one's in silver stack-heel boots. The thrusting guitar line in waved in your face but this feels almost parody like
Another 'rite of passage' song?
'Never has a fight we haven't lost/We're not very tough or athletic/Once I had a boxing champ in a head-lock/And when he gets out I'll regret it"
So so, not the strongest track on the album 6/10
5. Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) 3 minutes 18 seconds
Change of pace and tone, a sweeter and more acoustic-sounding guitar line which drops below the vocal line. Now you can hear the clarity and purity of the lead singer's voice - it is like he has come to the front and centre of the stage instead of standing behind the lead guitarist. This shifts mood again. This could be a song by and almost a performance by the Pet Shop Boys, the sophisticated vocabulary, the 'warts-and-all' realism of the lyric. This is more downbeat, reflecting the slower speed and reflected in the use of minor keys.
'Loves not a competition but I'm winning/I'm not sure what's truly altruistic anymore/When every good thing I do is listed/And you're keeping score' Ouch.
Excellent song, 10/10
6. Thank You Very Much 2 minutes 38 seconds
And just in case you were getting comfortable or sleepy, this track will wake you up and set your head jangling like after two Starbucks double shots. Hard edge thrashing guitar again, almost a punk, Clash-like effect and the lead singer is no longer crooning to you - he's in your face. Very much in the flavour of the first album "Employment" this is the child of "Every Day I Like You Less And Less".
'Cos this should be a thrill/But it feels like a drill'
Not bad, not outstanding 7/10
7. I Can Do It Without You 3 minutes 24 seconds
Less punk, more lyrical and showcasing the musical harmonies these guys can pull off - less thrash. Strange, instrumental Hawaiian-guitar effect in the middle, like one of the Shadows crept in during the recording.
Somit and nowt, really.
'While we convince each other nothing has changed/Nobody else will ever act the same/The adaptation for the stage is now playing/For your protection all the names have been changed'
Inoffensive, if unremarkable, 6/10
8. My Kind Of Guy 4 minutes 7 seconds
This is like a song from a slightly 'avant garde' musical - could be Rent or Les Miserables (actually, it's too good (in my opinion) to be in Les Mis).
Anyway, twangy guitar lines and in-yer-face but very clear lyrics which are beautifully crafted - it's a good'un.
It's not Andrew Lloyd Webber, but, you can imagine someone doing something stupid on in-line skates or dressed in a cat outfit behind the lead singer...
'As the bicycle race/Gathers speed, gather pace/And you feel that you're going too fast/There's a word to the wise/You should take some advice/Cos the nice guys always finish last'.
Fun, vamping song, I like it 8/10
9. Everything Is Average Nowadays 2 minutes 43 seconds
This is another return to the full-on sound familiar to those who know the 'Employment' album. An almost Ska/Madness silliness moves into the mid-section with the lyric gradually coming through (with a short guitar solo too - these guys love their little instrumental sections). Good, happy tune, somewhat in contrast to the theme - that everything is average - but the lyric seems tongue-in-cheek, as so many of their lyrics do.
"When everyone would do it if they can/And everything is going down the pan/And everyone is following the craze/Oh everything is average now/You said it's getting better/But I don't really see the signs/You say that it's too different/You thought it would suicide"
A happy little tune, actually one of the better hooks, too - 7/10
10. Boxing Champ 1 minute 31 seconds
Out of the blue a melodic piano introduction to a song that seems half modern hymn and half Hue and Cry from the mid 80's.
A pleasant and short song, it feels a little out of place here like a small tin of beans that someone in the supermarket has left on the Tennants Super aisle, but it is not unwelcome.
More 'rites of passage' stuff with the lyric 'And I was a weakling/You didn't give me a chance/You gave me a beating/And I thank you very that you did' etc. 6/10
11. Learnt My Lesson Well 3 minutes 54 seconds
Another change of pace with the drummed introduction and then strident guitar sounds into a pop, bouncy 'cheeky-chappy' track. This is Housemartins/Madness style again, a fast lyric floated over a heavier guitar line - actually, the thrumming of a 70's glam rock track, but rather wittier lyrics!
'What are you waiting for?/Get up off your seat/It feels like a week/What are you moaning for?/You've got all you want/Life could be worse/You could leave in a Hearse.' 7/10
12. Try Your Best 3 minutes 41 seconds
Track opens with the slow-suicide-slightly-stoned-sensation of Tears for Fears in 'The Hurting' period. I have no idea what this is all about - it seems like one of those conversations most of us have had, at one time or another, usually when inebriated. It's got another heavy guitar riff, it is probably amazing 'wall of sound' stuff through headphones and it builds multiple polyphonic layers one upon another with multi-level harmonised cords, but the singer is singing nonsense, really.
'So try your best/And think about it later/Or you will never know/ So try your best/And think about it later/ Or you will never know/Which way your life could go/And you'll know when you know' etc etc
I have had this sort of conversation (pointless) but this track might seem quite insightful to teenagers who are searching for simplistic homilies. 4/10, that high because I quite like the harmonic which is a bit 'Pink Floyd/Dark Side Of The Moon'ish.
13. Retirement 3 minutes 52 seconds
A workmanlike rock-and-roll track, but again quite theatrical - at the Sgt Pepper end of the spectrum, certainly, northern accented English lyrics and a desire to retire job-done (which is actually not very rock'n'roll - whatever happened to live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse? These guys are saying that they want to retire and be remembered for something like a perfect tone or for the washing machine!).
'I want to retire/No longer required/I want to get by without the man on my back/A tear in my eye/With a heart full of pride/I must go out on a high/And not to answer to why/I want to retire/Inform the suppliers/I'll leave the party in style and not to be carried out/Without a cloud in the sky/I got my fingers in pies/A golden watch at my side/Will measure my free time'
A golden watch? Pur-lease? What happened to driving white Rolls-Royce motor cars into swimming pools and trashing hotel rooms? Oh well, even post-punk rock stars can have an ISA and a SIPP I suppose.
Not a bad track, bouncy enough, but the first half of this album is the stronger part, certainly lyrically. 6/10
It's not a bad album and well worth the £5.27 I paid for it at Tesco Direct (free delivery). You could do a good section of the M5 with this playing or use it to tune out the chattering idiots on a one-hour or so section of a train journey. I recommend it, if not with massive enthusiasm then at least if you haven't got anything in particular on.
NME says that Kaiser Chiefs passed the difficult "second album" stage with this one.My own opinion of this is that is was distinctly average in comparison to the first album. This does not mean this is album is bad or a total failure. I have listened to and enjoyed listening to on many occassions.
"Ruby" was not a good reflection on the overall album. I feel that they could have chosen a better first single from the tracks.
The lyrics in a lot of the songs are quite comical and make you smile but not to the degree of being ridiculous or too full on.
In comparison the the first album "Employment", not much has changed and there isnt much originality compared to the last. However, compared to the new album "Off With Their Heads" - which seems to be stuck for ideas, this is brilliant.
I would recommend purchasing but only if it is for under £8 somewhere. Luckily enough the average price on ebay seems to be lingering around £6.
2. The Angry Mob
3. Heat Dies Down
5. Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
6. Thank You Very Much
7. I Can Do It Without You
8. My Kind Of Guy
9. Everything Is Average Nowadays
10. Boxing Champ
11. Learnt My Lesson Well
12. Try Your Best
The Kaiser Chief are a four piece Rock-pop band from Leeds. "Yours Truly, Angry Mob" is their second album, after the highly successful debut of "Employment". However, where Employment sounded unique and innovative, the band's sophomore album unfortunately relies on the same sounds and fails miserably at recreating the passion and fury of earlier songs "I Predict A Riot" and "Everyday I Love You Less And Less".
"Let it never be said, that romance is dead
Cause there's so little else occupying my head
There is nothing I need except the function to breathe
But I'm not really fussed, doesn't matter to me"
Put your hands up if you made it through 2007 without hearing "Ruby - ruby - ruby - ruby - ahhhhhhhhhhhh" at least once. I know I heard it yelled by several hundred different people in the most random situations, with some people exchanging the word "Ruby" for other 'witty' words. This is where the Kaiser Chiefs really shine - they are better than many at writing catchy, singable lyrics and this song is one of the best displays of their talent on the album.
THE ANGRY MOB 8/10
"We are the angry mob
We read the papers everyday day
We like who like
We hate who we hate
But we're also easily swayed"
I chose the lyric above because for me it sums up the Kaiser Chiefs. They have the ability to highlight issues (such as the public's inability to sway to love/hate people in the public eye very quickly) but the meaning is lost by the rhythmic chanting that they insert into every song. The song is one of the best on the album, with a fantastic sound, but lacks some of the belief of the first album.
HEAT DIES DOWN 6/10
"When the heat dies down
I'll be back in town
And until that time
I'll be back at mine "
After the first two songs, unfortunately the album begins to slip into the mediocrity that is similar to the fate of many artists - this song for me sums up why the second album does not work as well as the first - it tries to follow the same patterns of the first, but with less passion.
"Hanging outside nightclubs in the snow
Not very cool or impressive
They let in all the girls from the year below
No need for ID's with those dresses"
The song is one of the songs that almost shines, but once the lyrics really kick in the song fails completely. The lyrics seem pointless and unemotive, with none of the irony and with that the first album contained.
LOVE'S NOT A COMPETITION (BUT I'M WINNING) 6/10
"Love's not a competition, but I'm winning
Love's not a competition, but I'm winning
At least I thought I was
But there's no way of knowing"
This song is as catchy as the first album, and is one of the songs with more passion on the album. The lyrics are a bit rubbish though, and it doesn't make me want to go out and buy the single or the album.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH 6/10
"So thank you very much
That's really nice to know
That you enjoyed the show
And I want you to know when to go"
The entire album can be summed up with this one song. THere is absolutely nothing about it which stands out, and it is so frighteningly similar to the first album that it actually hurts.
I CAN DO IT WITHOUT YOU 6/10
"None of the buildings even look the same,
And underneath them all the shops have changed.
I don't pretend they're in a lot more pain,
Stocking much too young for the professionals to stay in."
This song is quite good lyrically and has a good beat, but none of it really gels, and it is immediately obvious that they have just shoved this at the tail-end of the album to get some more songs on the album. It is nothing special.
MY KIND OF GUY 5/10
"You're my kind of guy
Cos I like your style
And you sound as horrible as me
And I don't mind if you're unkind
Cos you're reminding me of me"
This song did not appeal to me at all. I can hear that it would probably be quite a good song at a gig, and the Kaisers are a 'gig' and festival band, but whenever I've seen them at fests they've never played this one and I can see why. The guitars on it are quite easy to replicate though, if you're trying to learn guitar and want an easy song to play.
EVERYTHING IS AVERAGE NOWADAYS 7/10
"Everything is average nowadays
Everyone would do it if they can
And everything is going down the pan
And everyone is following the craze
And everything is average"
The Kaiser Chiefs, like all other intelligent bands, have chosen to use their best songs as the singles for the album. However, this song is far from fantastic and the irony of the title is lost on the band, as they sing the lyric "Everything Is Average Nowadays" with true passion.
LEARNT MY LESSON WELL 6/10
"It seems so sensible
For us to keep the purse strings tight
And move the decimals
A couple of places to the right"
There's not much to be said about this song. Its pretty average, but the vocals do sound quite good, and work well against the music.
TRY YOUR BEST 8/10
"I don't feel fear anymore
But I can't risk getting mauled
As far as the ear can hear
The wave is coming loud and clear"
This is, ironically, one of the songs where the Kaisers really do seem to try their best, just because its so different from anything else I've ever heard from them and is not just a replication of their earlier work. This is actually a very good, and original, track, and the Kaisers could use with a few more like it.
"I want to retire
No longer required
I want to get by without the man on my back
A tear in my eye
With a heart full of pride
I must go out on a high
And tell nobody why"
In a "clever" pun on the Kaiser's first album, the concluding song on the Kaiser's sophomore album was named "retirement". The song is, however, nowhere near as unique as the first album, and is instead a poor impersonation. It sounds like it could have been written by a rocker who was the wrong side of 80 after a lifetime of heavy drugs abuse. Retirement indeed.
The album is a very, very average piece with no ability to laugh at itself or make light of the horrific situation which some of the songs dig it into. Whilst the first Kaisers record is a show of lad-anthems at their best, some of the songs on this album appeal more to the violent thugs who only go to football matches to start a fight. Whilst the quality of the few singles on the album show that the kaisers are far from unskilled, I would actually recommend just buying the singles, because all you're going to be getting by buying the album is a bunch of tracks, a lot of which are a lower quality. Save your pennies and buy the first album plus maybe a single.
When Kaiser Chiefs released their début album 'Employment', I found their music greatly enjoyable. When their second album 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' was released on the other hand, I was actually dreading listening to it having heard and hated first single 'Ruby'. I wanted to like the album, I truly did, but I just didn't see it happening as you usually find it to be the case that the first single released from an album is more or less the strongest track. When 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' was released I made sure I listened to it, forced myself to listen to it even; it came as no surprise to me however that I was not liking what I was hearing. The album actually begins with 'Ruby', the one track I was least looking forward to hearing having already established that it was not of any appeal to me. When first listening to the album I quickly skipped past 'Ruby' as listening to it again was really not something that I wanted to endure.
After first track 'Ruby' is out of the way, up next is 'The Angry Mob'. As the track begins, it reminds me of 'Bright Idea' by Orson. The build up is almost identical in fact, and given that Orson's 'Bright Idea' probably appeals to me even less than 'Ruby', a track that resembled it so heavily to begin with was never going to go down too well with me. Thankfully, the opening and the occasional guitar riff here and there is the only thing that resembles the Orson track however and for the most part the track is very much their own. Sadly however, the track is hideously tiresome and listening to Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson's droning voice here is not exactly what I would class as entertainment. Whilst in 'Employment', the vocals were always injected with a great deal of enthusiasm, there is no such energy at all here and this lacklustre offering is therefore not really worth listening to at all.
Third track 'Heat Dies Down' is the first moment where the album begins to show any real signs of being any good. Kaiser Chiefs are here far from their best, however nonetheless the track is interesting and most of all entertaining. I really like listening to this one, and with it's bouncy edge and Pop appeal is definitely a track which is well worth listening to. Next track 'Highroyds' starts off promisingly also with a fun introduction which suggests it will be another energetic piece of music. The energy is sadly short lived and once more the band return to mid-paced mediocrity. 'Mediocre' and 'Average' are the words that spring to mind first and foremost when I think of this album as a whole in fact, something which makes me wonder if the band themselves are even well aware of given that they have named one of the tracks here 'Everything Is Average Nowadays'.
Although not a lot stands out about this album, one thing I will say is that the single 'Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)' shows some great unfulfilled potential. The music is sadly devoid of any real sense of life, however the chorus is undeniably catchy and will no doubt have you singing along in no time. It is an interesting one how a band can have such an infectious chorus yet still be so deadly dull but there you go. One of the things I find most amusing about 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' is the fact that the aforementioned track with the title 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' is probably one of the best from the album. Whilst 'Average' nicely sums up the album as a whole, the track itself is probably one of the only really slightly appealing songs present other than 'Heat Dies Down'. Whilst the track I feel is still somewhat lacking in energy, this does not stop it from being amongst the best; it's still average, just a little less so than the vast majority here.
Would I recommend this album to anyone? Not unless you have difficulties sleeping at night. The album has little use other than boring the listener and potentially sending them to sleep if they're lucky. There are a few signs of promise during the albums thirteen track duration, but not nearly enough to keep a listener interested and intrigued as to what track will potentially come next. There is simply not enough variety here; the lyrics are poor, the vocals tiresome, and the instruments uninspired. Whilst I was a big fan of the first album from the Kaiser Chiefs, if they are ever to release another album the chances are that I shan't be giving it a listen. 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' is an album to avoid.
Release Date: 26th February 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
So the Kaiser Chiefs second album after the guys from these indie rockers from Leeds. This follows the outstanding Employment album which left high expectations on the boys shoulder but can they match it?
Well lets see, 13 songs on the album and the album coming in at just under 45 mins, meaning that tbh, it seems a bit short to begin with, but we take quality over quantity right? So whats the quality like?
Well the opening track, Ruby, has just been released as a single (or is about to be released?) a song that takes you back to the previous album. Ricky's singing sounds the same as it always has done, and the chorus is catchy as hell. A pretty damn good start to the album. Which allows old fans to join in where the last album ended, and allows new fans an easily accessible song. 9/10.
Hmmm the second song Angry Mob opens like an Orson song until the vocals kick in, with the lyrics not as good imo as Ruby. The music really does sound like Orson right through...just with a better singer and different lyrics. This is the longest song on the album, and might explain why the album is so short as theu seem to be pushing it with this song, and get it to the point where it's finished just before it becomes too long, though the bridge may just have helped extend the play time to just about the best it can be. 7/10
The third track is Heat Dies Down a nice pacey opening with nice sharp crisp guitar feel to it. Interesting lyrics with lines about noses and toes, sounds quirky but yet brilliant. The chorus has you tapping your toes with a big smile on your face before you start singing along. The strong feel to the song gives the indie sound a lil bit extra, really a fantastic song. 8/10
The next song is Highroyds, this is another pacey opening and has a loose "I predict a riot" feel to it, but maybe I'm just remeniscing. Maybe it's like the long lost cousin of the aforementioned track with a bit of Tim Buckley's starsailor album mixed in for good measure with the woo's. Another very good song, though the least easy to get into so far into the album. 7/10
Next comes, Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning), I love the title so thats always a good start, the opening sounds like the a bit like the Killers on dope. Slow clear, well sung with simple guitaring, simple lyrics but the chorus is brilliant. Soft simple, really easy listening, and it feels chilled out compared to whats come before it. Really good, 8/10.
Thank You Very Much, This starts like something else off the previous album (cant put my finger on what it is), a song that musically makes you feel happy, with odd vocals in parts, but yet an overall happy feeling. I think it's about being dumpe but I might be wrong, but it's lyrics feel kinda like "Thanks for nothing". Not one of my faves but yet still a really solid song, despite feeling disjointed at times. 7/10
I Can Do It Without You is the seventh song on the album and seems to follow the theme of the previous track. It starts with a real indie (sound as in indie sound, rather than pure indie). The vocals actually seem weak at the intro but the chorus allows them to be picked up and is catchy even if repetitive. The lyrics are possibly the worst so far on the album but not hugely under-impressive imo, and it oddly sounds a bit like Oasis (see the said indie comment). An abover average but not mind blowing song tbh, 6/10
In at 8 is My Kind Of Guy, it sounds a bit more electric sounding and the vocals are again a lil below what you'd expect of a band of this quality. Though the lyrics are a step up from the previous song as is the whole feel to it, it has nodding your head to the beat. The chorus is again brilliant, really good for the type of band (you don't expect Dylan-esque lyrics in indie music), and it's a song I feel you have to like just fr the sounds of the music as opposed to the vocals. 8/10
Song number 9 is, Everything Is Average Nowadays, WOW the fast happy sounding intro makes yu take notice straight away. Ricky's vocals are back and the the song just makes you fall in love with it straight away. An album of this sort of songs would be a dream to be honest, brilliant in every single way. Whys it taken to song 9 to produce something THIS good? The best song on the album so far by a fair bit, and the first to get a score that represents greatness. 10/10
As a bit of a boxing fan I thought I'd like this song, Boxing Champ, is more or a piano sounding soft peace, the vocals sound totally different to most of the album, far clearer than most of the other songs. For those hoping for a "Song for Sonny Liston" style peice you will feel disappointed. For those into brilliant peices of music, you will love this. Again amazing in every way a song can be, only one flaw and thats that it is far too short to really reach you before the end. 9/10
The elenventh song is, Learnt My Lesson Well, a drum based intro with guitars then over-riding the fading (te stopping drums) giving the song a good backbone for a start. The vocals sound again clear, but they seem to have lost the charm they hard in "Employment". The vocals again seem cheerful and have a possibly good message put behind them which matches the vocal performance and the pace of the track. Some of the song though sounds somewhat "robotic" which I'm guessing is meant for but still feels wrong for some reason compared to the rest of the song. Still a realy enjoyable song to listen to. 8/10
Try Your Best, is the penultimate song (and the final song I think on the "normal" release of the CD, as opposed to the limited edition). A sad fading sound opens the track, almost like it was going to be the last song, the vocals are the superiour sound as the song starts, and the lyrics carry you away into a scene of images, as the soft guitar background eventually grows. The vocals and lyrics combine to almost perfection and the song despite being "indie"/"indie rock" by the bands own admission, seem to have tried something very different, and have done it brilliantly. 9/10
The final song, entitled, Retirement, is possibly a play on the previous albums name ("Employment"...). This song has the most humourous lyrics of any of the songs on the album, but yet they work well together an don't make you think "gimmick song". The song opens with a strong guitar riff repeated a few times before Ricky's voice charges over with the said lyircs. The chorus is again sublime and kinda sums up a lot of the target auience I think (no offence as the target audience do seem to be people like myself). A great song to end any album on with vocals, music, lyrics and timing all spot on. 10/10
Now this bit is unlike me, to put into a CD review but anyway, theres a few things I noticed about the CD. The case is unusual, with an inlay book that comes out of the top of the case rather than the side, and theirs missing "corners" (neither of these are complaints btw). Though one minor gripe is "Why do the band look like a bunch of emo kids on the cover?". IF anyone has answers to this, then please give me the reason.
The Kaiser Chiefs seemed to enjoy immediate success when they unleashed Employment on the world back in 2005. You couldnt go anywhere without hearing Rickys vocals belting out of a speaker. For me though, the first album was a bit of a split bag. I found that the album was very much made up of the hits that were played to death on the radio and the rest was really all fillers. So with slight trepidation I bought the new album a few weeks ago on the hope that it would be a little better. It is two years later and I had hoped that the quality of the album would have improved.
For the most part the quality of the album as a whole has improved there are certainly a lot less fillers from the Leeds band. The follow up album was recorded in Hook End Studios in Berkshire, under the watchful eye of Stephen Street, who has previously worked with The Charlatans, Blur and The Smiths. Under his watchful eye they came up with 22 tracks that were eventually whittled down to just 13 to make the final album. Despite this there does still seem to be some very average tracks and you cant help feeling this album should have been so much better.
Of course it was going to be hard for them, the second album always is for new bands, especially when the first album is hyped to such proportions,. What struck me most about this second release from the Kaisers though was that it didnt sound any more mature musically or lyrically than its predecessor. A lot of bands who tour for two years seem to pick up bits and pieces and alter their style a little. The Kaisers seem to have stuck to safe ground and this album in parts sounds just like Employment.
The bands sound doesnt seem to have changed much. They still have the same quite simple Indie sound that the first album had in abundance. There are a few tracks where the guitars really take the lead and they sound like the sort of songs that the band are capable with. There is a nice cohesion between the guitars, drums and base throughout the album and that perhaps is why this album sounds a little better than the last. There are though a couple of tracks that really feel like theyve been thrown together musically and really disrupt the flow of the album.
Likewise I felt that Rickys vocals seem to be stuck in a bit of a time warp. His voice still sounds exactly the same as the previous album and although the lyrics have improved quite a bit his vocals still seem to be quite hit and miss throughout the album. On tracks like Everything Is Average Nowadays its almost ironic that Ricky should be making such a bold statement. It is a track that is very easy to listen to but as far as musical ability and improvement on quite an average album the second one just seems to fall short.
It is what it says on the tin. The Kaiser Chiefs are still trying to make Indie Pop and the two sounds while they work in small doses seem to be missing drastically from parts of this album. There are a couple of decent tracks, such as lead single Ruby, which has really grown on me since I first heard it on the radio. It has a good tempo and is an easy song to get into and enjoy. The other that really caught my attention was Highroyds. Its a very well written track with a decent guitar beat and its one of those songs that seems to really get your attention and have you singing along.
On the flip side though the album does seem to be made up of fillers, no matter how you try to disguise them. The 1 minute 31 second long Boxing Champ is the perfect example. Its a very slow ballad that sounds so out of place. The lyrics are appalling and Rickys vocals sound so stretched that it makes it almost a pain to actually listen to it. Another track that has really stood out for me as one of the poorer efforts on the album is My Kind Of Guy. Its not actually that bad a song but the tempo and the vocals just make it sound like they cant be bothered and again it seems like purely a track to fill up some CD space.
So is Yours Truly, Angry Mob a better album than the predecessor Employment? Well in my opinion it is, but then I never really had that high an opinion of Employment in the first place. Like the first album there are some very good tracks on this album but once again they have let themselves down with far too many fillers that just dont work. If they had 22 tracks and these were the best 13 then there really must have been some poor tracks in those remaining 9. For Kaiser Chiefs fans youll love this album, if like me you like the singles or had the same opinion of the first album Id recommend sticking to listening to them on the radio.
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Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 The Angry Mob
3 Heat Dies Down
5 Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
6 Thank You Very Much
7 I Can Do It Without You
8 My Kind Of Guy
9 Everything Is Average Nowadays
10 Boxing Champ
11 Learnt My Lesson Well
12 Try Your Best