Kaiser Chiefs – Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007): Review

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Produced by Stephen Street
Label – B-Unique/Universal Motown

With 3 Million sales for their debut album “Employment”, an opening slot at the U.S. Live 8 concert, and three top ten U.K. singles, 2006 was a sensational year for the Leeds 5 piece. Their honed bouncy Britpop sound and Ricky Wilson’s hyperactive “cheeky chappie” persona found a home in the heart of festival goers and Indie pop fans. And yet, as is the inevitable reaction from critics and media snipes alike, any band that can court the pop market so successfully are always a target to the typically anti-mainstream sneering that comes with the territory. So in preparation for the backlash the Tykes cleverly stepped one foot ahead with their sophomore long player. The title, “Yours Truly, Angry Mob” deliberately goads the detractors before they’ve even had chance to poison the pen. Indeed, the title track entices the negative journalists and readers for the fight with the lines, “We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day, we like who we like, we hate who we hate, but we’re oh so easily swayed”. The album strictly follows the direction of their debut with big hooked chorus’ and satirical views on youth culture, vigorously performed as one would expect, and although there isn’t the cumulative number of stand out hits, “Yours Truly, Angry Mob” is still a worthy follow up.

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The comeback single, “Ruby”, is as strong as anything from their debut, a rip roaring, punchy ride through the disillusionment of romance as Wilson sings, “Let it never be said, that romance is dead, ‘cos there’s so little else, occupying my head”. “The Angry Mob” moulds two songs into one seamlessly, culminating in the chant vocal summoning a reaction from the haters. There’s no denying the singalong “Heat Dies Down” is strong, as is “Highroyds”, which reserves little appreciation for the area of Leeds three members of the band hail from. The album is resolutely top heavy, proving that the band and producer Stephen Street appreciate where to place the songs that have the least impact, and the very average rocker “Everything Is Average Nowadays”, the amateurish piano ballad “Boxing Champ”, and the turgid “My Kind Of Guy” make for obvious comparisons with the highs and lows of “Employment”. And that’s the crux of it really. Both this and “Employment” have moments of grand pop excellence, mixed with formulaic filler, and although the record was a commercial success based on the strength of the singles, the band have yet to realize their song writing consistency over the course of a long player. That said, there’s still enough here to keep the angry mob at bay, but album three would be the major test in defining the band’s longevity at the peak of pop market.

Following on from the Britpop template set by its predecessor, it’s hard not to appreciate Kaiser Chiefs energy and “Yours Truly, Angry Mob” is a snappy good humoured whoopee ticket down the old teenage highway.

7/10

Track Listing
1. “Ruby” 3:25
2. “The Angry Mob” 4:48
3. “Heat Dies Down” 3:57
4. “Highroyds” 3:19
5. “Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)” 3:17
6. “Thank You Very Much” 2:37
7. “I Can Do It Without You” 3:24
8. “My Kind of Guy” 4:06
9. “Everything Is Average Nowadays” 2:44
10. “Boxing Champ” 1:31
11. “Learnt My Lesson Well” 3:54
12. “Try Your Best” 3:42
13. “Retirement” 3:53

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2 responses to “Kaiser Chiefs – Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007): Review

  1. Yep. Loved album number one and felt the drop off a little with this one. Ruby was a great single though. Are they still together?

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