Let me cut right to the chase: The Kaiser Chief’s debut album Employment is, simply put, the best album so far this year, will be a top 2005 album when we look back in December at the year’s music offerings, and is better than practically everything released in 2004. It’s a splendid triumph of versatility: rock and pop, lazy and crazy, dance and chill, words and riff.
The Kaiser Chief’s are releasing Employment on the heels of considerable buzz about their first two singles “Oh My God” and “I Predict a Riot” on both sides of the Atlantic, predictably more so in Britain. The album includes both of these songs, plus 10 other in-your-face, delirious, but no less stupendous tracks.
As you listen to Employment, the Kaiser Chiefs seamlessly reinvent themselves track after track.
There are a 100 new bands stuffed in the Indie Rock genre, and few if any have put together a more original album that, depending on the track you’re currently indulging in, stirs up thoughts of The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Simple Minds or Talking Heads. The Chiefs seem to be clearly influenced by the best of what British music had to offer in the 60s and 80s, complete with filthy guitar licks and raucous drumming. If I may indulge myself in one cornball moment — Employment has more hooks than a tackle box.
“Oh My God” and “I Predict a Riot” are both danceable, energetic cuts that speak to worker disenchantment and civil unrest, respectively. While both tracks speak of less than cheery subjects, you get the sense the Chiefs kinda like the drama. Perhaps they’ve had time to find the fun in all of it, after growing up in “not so sunny Leeds” as they boast on their Web site. Other tracks, like “Modern Way” and “Caroline, Yes”, are slower, almost dreamy songs that employ sweet-sounding harmonies.
Great debut albums are certainly no guarantee of long term success, but The Kaiser Chiefs present a multitude of exciting styles that imply this album is not the last of their creative inventiveness.
The album is available to listen to in its entirety from The Kaiser Chiefs here. If it sounds good here, imagine what it’ll do for you on your iPod.
More ranting on lots of things from The BM RantPowered by Sidelines