Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads

I finished my review of Kaiser Chiefs’ second album, Your Truly, Angry Mob, by writing that I was looking forward to their next CD.  Well, here it is and I’m finding that I’m enjoying “Off With off-with-their-headsTheir Heads” even more than its predecessor.  The Chiefs are putting out state-of-the-art power-pop, new-new wave influenced rock.

Your Truly led off with mega-track “Ruby” which was not only the best thing on the album but  brought Kaiser Chiefs a host of new fans when it showed up on the original version of Guitar Hero.  “Ruby” sounded like a hit the first time it played and nothing on “Off With Their Heads” has this immediate impact.  However, the new album has a characteristic that is arguably even more important than an obvious hit single.  It sounds good the first time through and it’s a grower.  The more we listen to “Off With Their Heads” the more want to hear it.

Part of the reason Kaiser Chiefs music is so compelling is that they are masters of vocal hooks combined with driving, propulsive rhythms and good songwriting.  “Good Days Bad Days” with its loping bass-driven rhythm is a good example.  Out of nowhere I find myself singing “‘Cause you are / Descended from animals / And you are / Constructed of chemicals” from “Like It All Too Much” at odd times throughout the day.  And “Always Happens Like That” is so catchy it out to come with a warning label.

Another reason the Chiefs rock is that everyone in the band can play and Ricky Wilson (vocals), Andrew White (guitar), Nick Baines (keyboards), Simon Rix (bass) and Nick Hodgson (drums)  work very well together as a band.  If there are super-sized egos in the group, they are doing a good job of not letting them dominate the music.  They are also very well recorded.  Producers and engineers Mark Ronson and Eliot James give the band a sharp, clean sound with well defined and beautifully integated instruments and vocals.  “Off With Their Heads” sounds terrific on a quality sound system

kaiser-roll“Off With Their Heads” is Kaiser Chiefs third album and each one has been better than the last.  I don’t know how long this can go on but where I was looking forward to their next album after Yours Truly, the one after “Off With Their Heads” will be an automatic purchase.  The Chiefs are on a roll (a Kaiser roll? . . .  lol).  Get ’em while they’re hot.

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02/11/2009 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Just stumbled onto your site, but I agree 100% with this post. I love this album, because it’s even cheekier than the last. And “Like It All Too Much” seriously just gets stuck in your head…The whole album is just a terrific blend of biting lyrics and fantastical melodies.

    Comment by Hannah | 09/20/2009 | Reply


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