Artist – Album: Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads
Released: 20th October 2008
Sounds Like: The Kaiser Chiefs, with added muscle.
The biggest challenge facing the Kaiser Chiefs after their stupendous debut album Employment, and its accompanying singles ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’, was following it up with a release that was progressive enough to avoid accusations of one-trick-pony-ism but still punchy enough to satisfy their stadium filling, largely lager-fuelled fanbase. That test was passed with flying colours with the anthem ‘Ruby’, but then the Leeds lads took their collective eye off the ball with its weak parent album Yours Truly, Angry Mob. It looked at that point like the Chiefs may have been succumbing to the law of diminishing returns and, as Apollo 440 so nearly sang, “stop the rot, can’t stop the rot”. Drastic measures would have to be taken if Off With Their Heads wasn’t going to be another disappointment.
To that end, they enlisted the man of the moment Mark Ronson and a bevy of his mates (Lily Allen sings backing vocals on ‘Always Happens Like That’ and ‘Never Miss a Beat’, and the rapper Sway proffers an odd verse to the unsuccessful ‘Half the Truth’) to reinforce their admittedly handy pop rock songs. The result is a mixed bag, but overall I’d say it’s a success. The lead single ‘Never Miss a Beat’ is old hat for the Yorkshire quartet and just a bit boring, but the likes of ‘Always Happens Like That’ and ‘Addicted to Drugs’ are enjoyably atypical. ‘Like It Too Much’ is a brilliant effort at XTC-esque New Wave, whilst album closer ‘Remember You’re a Girl’ is a surprisingly mellow ballad.
The birds were circling in 2008, but Off With Their Heads should have done enough to shoo them away for a little longer. In actual fact it didn’t, but I wouldn’t say that that’s the boys fault. It seems the public had already sentenced them to the guillotine...
Albumaday... rating: 6/10
1. Spanish Metal – 2:19
2. Never Miss a Beat – 3:08
3. Like It Too Much – 3:23
4. You Want History – 3:45
5. Can’t Say What I Mean – 2:49
6. Good Days Bad Days – 2:53
7. Tomato in the Rain – 3:51
8. Half the Truth – 3:44
9. Always Happens Like That – 3:12
10. Addicted to Drugs – 3:53
11. Remember You’re a Girl – 2:37
Listen to ‘Like It Too Much’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNfzL9Xkm1g
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