Kaiser Chiefs : Yours Truly, Angry Mob

<a href="Reviews/Album_Reviews/Kaiser_Chiefs_Yours_Truly_Angry_Mob/"><img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/kaiserchiefs.jpg" alt=" " /></a> In 2005, Kaiser Chiefs stormed the UK charts with their debut album, <i>Employment</i>, and now comes their follow-up, <i>Yours Truly, Angry Mob</i>.<span>  </span><i>Employment</i>...
7.6 Universal

Kaiser Chiefs : Yours Truly, Angry Mob In 2005, Kaiser Chiefs stormed the UK charts with their debut album, Employment, and now comes their follow-up, Yours Truly, Angry Mob.  Employment had four hit singles in “Oh My God”, “I Predict a Riot”, “Everyday I Love You Less and Less”, and “Modern Way”, but Yours Truly’s first, “Ruby”, has already surpassed them all, debuting at #2 on UK Billboard.   Yet there is a key difference between the two albums: While Employment was largely four great singles and eight pieces of filler material, Yours Truly is a much more evenly balanced record.  Yours Truly lacks the few perfectly catchy Britpop-rock songs of Employment, but the album as a whole really stands up better.

“Ruby” opens up the record, a solid, fun, but kind of simplistic piece, with a little mix of a low, driving track, and a high, choral one.  It’s the kind of catchy song where the chorus is just, “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby – Do Ya, Do Ya, Do Ya, Do Ya?”  With the following “The Angry Mob”, “Heat Dies Down”, and “High Royds” on Yours Truly, the problem is not simplicity but complication – too many shifts in tempo and switches in rhythm (akin to fellow indie-Britpoppers – and WWI Central Powers royalty – Franz Ferdinand).  With good verses, and great choruses, all three would be wonderful, were it not for the jagged jumps in between.  Only “Heat Dies Down” remains truly great, even if its lyrics are not about a failed attempt at oral sex (as it can sound upon first listen), but rather merely the classic rock star lament, of being too famous when they go back home.

Better switches can be found later on Yours Truly, in “Learnt My Lesson Well” and especially on the next upcoming single, “Everything Is Average Nowadays”.  “Everything” also has their best stab at political irony, though it also works well on “My Kind of Guy” (its first-person irony the closest the Kaiser Chiefs come to being ‘dark’) and the record’s final track, “Retirement”, but it falls relatively flat on “The Angry Mob”.

While Employment had a standout sad song in “Modern Way”, Yours Truly’s “Love Is Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)” and “I Can Do Without You” are just nice, and forgettable.  Much better are the more-poignant-than-sad tracks “Boxing Champ” and “Try Your Best”.  Both also avoid the classic slow song issue of dragging on too long: “Boxing” by only clocking in at a minute-thirty-one (in the manner of Donal Logue in The Tao of Steve, “Be excellent.  Be gone.”), and “Try” with its strong, flowing, growth.

Once the fever over its release dies down, Yours Truly, Angry Mob may not deliver the bucket-full of chart-crawling singles the way Employment did.  However, the album will also not leave purchasers with the feeling they just bought four singles and eight b-sides.  Overall, Yours Truly comes together well, and even its errors in tempo shifts, impact, and political rhetoric get worked out within the record.  It isn’t a record that’s going to grab you and start a riot, but it’ll be hard to join an angry mob once you start listening.

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