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CD Review: The Kaiser Chiefs-Employment

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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 Rant

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About Matt Freelove

  • Matthew,


    Launched this on the world – or at least the part of the world that scours Advance.net for the (family-friendly) cream of the BC Web log. That’s hundreds of thousands of people a week.

    Here’s the link. Sorry here. That’s hundreds of thousands of readers per week.

    – Thanks. Temple

  • matthew, i agree. This is a fantastic record, although i think it owes a hell of a lot to Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads, who in turn, of course, owe a lot to a lotta other folks from out the eighties and such. But this is still fantastic, one of the most enjoyable records i’ve picked up of late.

  • Temple–Thanks for adding to Advance.

    Duke–I’ve had trouble falling in love with the Franz album. Perhaps I’m trying too hard, or expecting that I should like it as much as everyone else, but right now I’m more apt to replay The Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party or the Libertines before I get to FF.

  • Matthew, i loved the Franz record, but if it was a choice between it and the libertines, those glaswegians would be kicked to the kerb, let me announce. I think the Kaiser Chiefs album is a much more varied affair, also.

  • Duke–what do you make of the Libertines? Can they survive post Doherty? Will he get off the smack and return? I like that Babyshambles song Kilimangiro is the name I think.

  • Matt, i dare say the libertines are, sadly, finished. Carl Barat’s heading off to do some solo stuff, John has got that new band who i heard the other night, and are great. Pete has hopefully cleaned himself up, but i think Babyshambles are were his heart is now. i did an article on babyshambles, actually. if you go to http://www.mondoirlando.com and scroll down the front page, you’ll see it near the bottom of the music bit.

  • bummer. We won’t see the likes of them again.

  • I bought the KC album a couple weeks ago – I like it. I do not love it, but I like it. It is growing on me and I think it will show up on my end of year list… just not sure it will be at the top. My top two albums of the year are already on display here.

    Good review of the album. I hope KC can keep it together long enough to make more records. This is a good jumping off point.

  • btw… I am listening to it on my iPod and I believe said iPod is better for the inclusion of Employment.