Friday, March 21, 2008

Collectibles #19: Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)

Yours Truly, Angry Mob is Kaiser Chiefs' second album, the first being Employment, which was released in 2004 to great critical acclaim.

I first heard of the Kaiser Chiefs when my friend VW bought a T-shirt from HMV bearing their name. Since then, I didn't hear much of them until they released their second album, with their lead single Ruby hitting the top of the UK singles chart.

Ruby is a great song with a very singeable chorus. The quadruple refrain of "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!" is either lazy songwriting or pure pop genius, and I think it's the latter. It's fun, catchy and a crowd rouser when performed live.

After Ruby, I next encountered Kaiser Chiefs on a Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba CD, which is a compilation of pop/rock songs but performed in a Latin/cuban style. The track Modern Way (from Employment) was covered in that compilation and their version sounded really good. I hadn't heard the original at that point.

That convinced me that there was something good about the Kaiser Chiefs and I went to buy Your Truly, Angry Mob. And I must say that I'm not disappointed.

This limited edition comes with a bonus DVD with 6 tracks performed in Berlin, and I watched the DVD (the "Television Disc") first before listening to the album (the "Phonographic Disc").

It was my first time seeing them perform and I must say they're quite good. It's a no frills show, entertaining the rather small crowd with tunes from an album that hadn't been released yet. And the crowd lapped it up. Sometimes, it's the low budget and intimate shows that are the best, where the band really gets to connect with the audience through their music and performance.

The album is chokeful of good tunes, and I would recommend Ruby, The Angry Mob, Heat Dies Down, Highroyds, Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) and Everything Is Average Nowadays.

While doing research for this article, I read that Kaiser Chiefs have been compared unfavourably to Blur. I didn't think that they sounded anything like Blur, but now that they mentioned it, yah it's true to a little extent. Early Blur maybe, but I think Kaiser Chiefs stand tall by themselves.

They have a knack of writing catchy hooks and funny song titles and still maintain credibility. If they were to tour Singapore, I will gladly pay top ticket to watch them. Hope their third album will be just as good!


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