For some people, it might feel as though Kaiser Chiefs have been off the radar for sometime, but they actually never really went anywhere. Their last album release was in 2011, and even if it was not overly talked about, the band have stayed busy. That being said, this might be the best release the band have had since their 2005 debut, as it sees them returning to the sound that got them their recognition, with a twist of influence from their experience since, and the modern music scene.
Now that singer Ricky Wilson has appeared on The Voice, fans might fear that the band will have lost themselves slightly and will be catering themselves to a certain listener (i.e. the type of people who watch The Voice); but, fear not – the album shows that the band have not changed, or at least, not for the worst.
Opening track The Factory Gates shows this perfectly, the song starts the album with a sound that is very typical Kaiser Chiefs. With witty and humorous lyrics along with a slight synth/electro flair, the song is the band showing that they are back, and they could well be stronger than ever. Other highlights include Coming Home which has a kind of Brandon Flowers/The Killers sound to it, and Meanwhile Up In Heaven that sees the band try something slightly new, but it works.
However, it doesn’t always work for them. Although the album is generally very impressive and fans can breathe a sigh of relief, there are some stranger sides to it. They took some risks, for example, Misery Company and Canons definitely have strange elements to them. Misery Company just has a very weird addition of evil laughing sounds throughout, it’s a pity because apart from this the song is actually pretty decent. It seems like they were trying to do something a bit quirky, a bit strange, and that it is – but it just doesn’t really work. Similarly, Canons also has potential but then is kind of ruined by strange talking bits.
All in all, the band have produced a very enjoyable album, one that should see them go back to their former glory. Kaiser Chiefs have been known to be a bit hit-or-miss, but for this album they’ve definitely got it (almost completely) right.