Kaiser Chiefs – Stay Together

I’m a very big Kaiser Chiefs fan. I legally own copies of all their albums. I’ve seen them live twice. I know how to play ‘The Angry Mob’ on keyboard and most of Off With Their Heads on the drums. ‘Good Days Bad Days’ is my most played song on my iTunes.

So it just breaks my aching, withered heart to say that I really do not like this album.

‘We Stay Together’ sounds like singer Ricky Wilson is trying to impersonate David Bowie doing a cover of something spewed out by 80s disco. ‘Hole In My Soul’ sounds like somebody took some guitar work written by Paramore and gave it to the synth player (at this stage I’m not sure if the Kaiser Chiefs even bother with a guitarist). I honestly thought ‘Parachute’ was an advert for an upcoming Justin Bieber album or something until I checked Spotify and it was actually the next song in the list.

“So it just breaks my aching, withered heart to say that I really do not like this album”

‘Good Clean Fun’ was the first track that finally sounded something that I’d normally listen to – strangely enough though, that’s because it has a heavy ska influence to it. I absolutely love ska. Admittedly, it was still tainted by disco, but the ska-ness was enough to make me overlook it.

Unfortunately, ‘Why Do You Do It To Me’ and ‘Indoor Firework’ just ruin any illusion that the album was starting to get any good. ‘Press Rewind’, oddly enough, shows some self-awareness; there’s a sample that says ‘this is Pop music’. And it’s right. This is Pop music. It’s also rubbish, but whatever.

I once wrote a joke song where one of the lyrics, ‘and the music keeps repeating itself’ is repeated at the end. I might as well have just sung the next song, ‘Happen In a Heartbeat’.

‘High Society’ was at least mildly interesting. It sounds a bit like Scissor Sisters co-wrote a song with all the members of Talking Heads. ‘Sunday Morning’ also has some interesting music to it, and is worth tapping your foot along to.

When I reached the final track, ‘Still Waiting’, I was weirdly enough still waiting for the album to actually be alright. But no, more generic pop. It’s a sad state of affairs when the bonus track at the end of ‘Still Waiting’ makes it into my personal top three songs of the album, if only because it sounds like Primus teamed up with the guitarist from Streetlight Manifesto.

Before 2013, the Kaiser Chiefs’ albums always had some good songs and interesting ideas. After 2013, their albums have taken the pop-ness up a notch and the uniqueness down a few more. Correlation does not equal causation, but maybe Nick Hodgson’s departure in 2012 is a contributing factor?

“After 2013, their albums have taken the pop-ness up a notch and the uniqueness down a few more”

Whatever the reason, the Kaiser Chiefs have changed their sound to something else. And while that sounds like typical fan whinging, bear in mind we already have thousands of Bieber-clones, but only one Yours Truly, Angry Mob.

2/5

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