MUSIC REVIEW: Kaiser Chiefs Page 2

Kaiser Chiefs

The second thing you'll probably notice is the, ahem, "darker" subject matter. After the hooks of "The Angry Mob" seem to reel you in happily, the song drops you into an ominous chant: "We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day / We like who we like, we hate who we hate / But we're also easily swayed." Both "Thank You Very Much" and "Highroyds" react to the fawning of newly fair-weather fans after the band's breakout success, with the latter track ending: "She wants to know when we're in London next, 'and will you write a song about me?' / I don't think so." In "I Can Do It Without You," even the neighborhood buildings and shops have changed.

Yes, things aren't so giddy as they often were on Employment, and some critics have taken the band to task for falling victim to the usual second-album disillusionment. To which this critic can only say: So what? If this more thoughtful, more mature writing is "disillusionment," I'll gladly take it. Besides, give some credit to the band for cheekily answering its own supposed sturm-und-glum with "What are you moaning for? You've got all that you want / Life could be worse, you could be a nurse."

Furthermore, the band closes the album by answering Employment with "Retirement," and it's tough to resist lead singer Ricky Wilson declaring, "I want to retire, no longer required / I want to get by without the man on my back / A tear in my eye, with a heart full of pride / I must go out on a high and tell nobody why," with his mates doing their best theatrical Sensational Alex Harvey Band behind him. And the Kaiser Chiefs go out on a sensational high indeed, capping an album whose Blurry clarity makes it easy to predict more Fab Fiveness for years to come.

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