Kaiser Chiefs
Yours Truly, Angry Mob


2.5
average

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
December 10th, 2008 | 83 replies | 5,657 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Kaiser Chiefs mature both musically and lyrically, but lose the fun and energy that made their divisive debut so memorable.

Oh oh, it’s a British band releasing a 2nd full-length album… You know what that means… Watch as they come crashing down after a successful, if divisive, debut! In making the choice between replicating the almost childish fun of ‘Employment’ and attempting to grow as a band, Leeds lads the Kaiser Chiefs have decided upon the latter. That may not seem apparent initially as lead single ‘Ruby’ kicks off with “la la laas” and has that distinct Brit-Pop catchiness that dominated their debut. However, as the song progresses; a fuller thicker sound musically becomes apparent to outline the band’s maturity this time around.

As if to hammer the point home, the following track titled ‘The Angry Mob’ also shows that the Kaiser Chiefs are unafraid to experiment with structure. This 3rd single progresses nicely enough for three or so minutes, before the piece then transforms into a musically darker cut that includes an anthemic and repetitive sing-along in which lead vocalist Ricky Wilson laments on the ability of tabloids to suck in many mindless sheep; “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”.

The lyrical improvement of the band is evident on ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’. Despite still falling into the trap of getting too repetitive and/or corny at times, there is usually a story of some sort to be told within the tracks. In most cases, it concerns the working middle class and different aspects of their lives. At times, it is involving, and at other times, it is boring… Just like the lives of the working middle class, funnily enough. However, it is still advisable not to examine the song’s lyrics too closely as the deficiencies will soon become all too apparent.

So if the Kaiser Chiefs have matured musically and lyrically, then what is this album’s downfall? Well, quite simply, it is its lack of overall quality and lasting value. ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’ is arguably more even and consistent than ‘Employment’. It is inoffensive and will be despised by fewer listeners, but it sort of just plods along at the one pace for most of its duration. Songs such as ‘Heat Dies Down’, ‘I Can Do It Without You’, ‘Learnt, My Lesson Well’ and the acoustic 4th single ‘Loves Not A Competition (But Im Winning)’ are all decent, but totally unspectacular and not very memorable at all.

Choosing the 2nd single from this lot must have been a terribly difficult decision to make! But when the draw was made out of a hat, the accolade went to the sub 3 minute up-tempo rocker that is ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’. It is decent and its pace distinguishes it a little from the pack, but at the end of the day, the title of the song says it all really. Slightly better, although possibly no more suitable to be released as a single, is the closing ‘Retirement’, whose distinct guitar riff provides an effective darker tone in amongst the involving lyrical theme that is tinged with an impressive sardonic air. Earlier, ‘My Kind Of Guy’ has the same kind of feel with a little side-serving of melody to further distinguish it.

In a sense, this may have been the album that the Kaiser Chiefs had to have in order to progress. You can see everything that they have attempted here, but the results leave a lot to be desired. Their maturation, both musically and lyrically, is admirable. As is the attempt to provide a more rock-oriented feel and keep the “la la las” and “na na nas” of their debut to a minimum. But the unfortunate trade off is that ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’ loses not only the fun, energy and entertainment factor of ‘Employment’, but also the memorability factor and lasting value as the band becomes comfortable with their new sound.

Recommended Tracks: Ruby, Retirement & The Angry Mob.



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user ratings (237)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
TrampInDenial (2)
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angelfyre (4)
More proof that British rockers know how to rock right....

Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (1.5)
Yours Truly, Angry Mob is nothing more than a lazy attempt to create an album of stadium-sized anthe...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jim
December 10th 2008



5110 Comments


good review bud. you really deserved your contributor status
never liked the chiefs at all actually.

rasputin
December 10th 2008



14504 Comments


Do you ever get bored reviewing so many albums from the same artist? I know I would.

marksellsuswallets
December 10th 2008



4848 Comments


They had energy before? Just because you happily chant "la" and "na" doesn't mean you have energy Davey...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks James... Or should I call you Jim?
Rasputin; Not really. I could sort of ask the same question of you, but just switch the word "artist" with "genre".
Brent, I think they did have energy on their debut. Mindlessly chanting "la la la" and "na na na" would come off as boring as hell, but I think these guys added their fun & playful aspect sufficiently to make it energetic.

Jim
December 10th 2008



5110 Comments


call me jim
;)

marksellsuswallets
December 10th 2008



4848 Comments


I guess I can see the argument there, however, every time I see a live video of them they just look bored, or they look like sad puppies haha

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love's Not A Competition is a fantastic song. But yeah, some really boring songs on this record.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I know what you are referring to with regards to their live show Brent. The fun nature of their albums arguably doesn't translate all that well to their gigs... At least to the musicians anyway, as the lead vocalist does well in getting the crowd involved. I doubt it's because they are bored or sad... My guess is because they are concentrating too hard on playing their instruments... Which really shouldn't be the case since they are not exactly Dream Theater!
I thought you'd like that song DavID. It's sort of mid-level quality-wise for mine... A good album track, but in amongst so many other similar cuts, it just blends in to me.

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dunno, it reminds me of The Smiths.
And anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Smiths.

Zizzer
December 10th 2008



915 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha nope they sure aren't Dream Theater!

I like Ruby and Love's Not a Competition, but the rest is fairly mediocre to me.

And isn't it ironic that the mean user rating is real close to 2.5 and they have a song titled "Everything Is Average Nowadays"?This Message Edited On 12.10.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well DavID, it shouldn't surprise anyone that parts of this album reminds of The Smiths since producer Stephen Street worked on their albums as well.
Yes, good pick-up Zizzer... Very ironic that 2.5 is the most popular rating for this album, your rating is 2.5, my rating is 2.5 and the average rating isn't far from 2.5. Everything is indeed average nowadays!

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And it didn't get much better.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Now now, let's not jump ahead of ourselves...

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Let's.
Off With Their Heads was arse.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Patience is a virtue DavIDsan.
And what is it with you & the word "arse" of late... You are starting to worry me. ;-)

Bleak123
December 10th 2008



1902 Comments


good review davey, album is pretty bad. i've always thought 'ruby' is a terrible song too
also ...davidsan? watching anime recently?This Message Edited On 12.10.08

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothin' wrong with a bit of arse.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gee Kane, if one doesn't like 'Ruby', then I agree that you practically cannot like the album as a whole. What is it about it that you think is "terrible"...???
And no, Anime is not my thing at all... More like a bit of Mr. Miyagi "wax on, wax off"!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2008



20824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Off With Their Heads was arse."
"Nothin' wrong with a bit of arse."
A bit contradictory, wouldn't you say DavID?

AtavanHalen
December 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothin' wrong with SAYING arse.



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