Kaiser Chiefs
Duck


2.5
average

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
July 29th, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 07/26/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's hard to please your longtime fans and casual, festival goers too...

Kaiser Chiefs have been walking a thin line lately. Their mainstream presence diminished considerably, as rock music lost ground at the beginning of this decade. However, they still fill out arenas in the UK and Europe, besides the occasional big festival runs. So, in order to keep things smooth on the live circuit side, they have been churning arena rock ditties. Unfortunately, these tracks display a dumbed-down version of themselves or rely too much on repetition and simple, forgettable melodies. They returned to political and social commentary on Education, Education, Education & War, which ended up as their best record in quite a while. Still, its bland follow-up, Stay Together dabbled in electronic elements to keep up with the trends and the results were messy. I hoped Duck, the latest LP, would be sharper, yet it focuses more or less on the same themes its predecessor got lost into: love, relationships, married life and some social media related content (more precisely, how it controls your life).

As expected, Duck wants to please everybody and this is the reason it fails to take off. The pumped opener, ‘People Know How to Love One Another’ will definitely be a concert staple. It’s a thin, rather boring anthem that wants to bring the best in us to the surface, whereas ‘Golden Oldies’ shares some embarrassing sexual innuendos over a nice melody. The music and the vocals/lyrics feel often out of sync on the record, as if everyone wanted to expand in his direction. Ricky Wilson sings with so much pathos on ‘The Only Ones’, but the instruments sound tame. The guitar needed more power to sustain the front man’s flamboyance. On the other hand, the swinging rhythm and cheerful choruses on ‘Wait’ deserved better lyrics than midlife crisis-led pub crawls and married life tales. I just hope they are sarcastic up to the point where you can’t tell exactly. Moving on, in between other duds, we can finally enjoy a couple of catchy, fun tunes such as ‘Record Collection’ or ‘Lucky Shirt’. The former boasts a ‘80s inspired synth line over groovy beats and claps. Praising the vinyl format, this song is a breath of fresh air halfway through the album. Also, ‘Lucky Shirt’ nicely melds warm bass lines with high-pitched keyboard leads, plus Ricky’s voice is on spot here too. ‘Target Audience’ is another decent cut, nevertheless, describing a love story at the office mentioning projectors and PowerPoint presentations is head-scratching (to put it politely).

Unfortunately, the remaining tracks on Duck are average Kaiser Chiefs output. They prefer the safety of the comfort zone, although they fare much better when they show some grit. Besides this, there’s an urge in the lyrics here to keep the party going, feel good, dance, even though you have your own struggles. Yes, these are times when you need to shake off your worries, but I want them to make me aware of those social, political, environmental issues that are stressful. I know they are able to produce stronger material, I just hope they will remind themselves this as well.



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user ratings (11)
2.3
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2019


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Kaiser Chiefs being average and boring again.



'Record Collection' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OQbDiaLKL4

'Lucky Shirt' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLutACPwvEs

'Target Market' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-ftzJ5E4bQ

Digging: 65daysofstatic - replicr, 2019

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2019


10117 Comments


Nice write-up my man.

Unfortunately sounds like a thoroughly unexciting listen.

Digging: WRVTH - No Rising Sun

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2019


16122 Comments


everything is average nowadays :[

Digging: 3776 - Saijiki

alamo
July 30th 2019


1741 Comments


ducky ducky ducky duckey

Digging: O Terno -

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2019


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks! Yes, I always had a soft spot for them but lately they are just disappointing. I’ll go and listen to Education and War.



@Johnny - haha, how did I miss using that song title as summary

Demon of the Fall
July 30th 2019


12415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Listened to this for 'local cultural relevance' and honestly, I prefer it to their first two records. This is just bland, rather than fundamentally irritating.

Digging: Cara Neir - Part III / Part IV

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2019


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha, check out Off With Their Heads and Education & War too, they are nice.

bloc
July 30th 2019


57579 Comments


First album had some super fun songs I still listen to. Then they turned shitty and then even shittier with their fuckin car racing music video. Might give this a dl and see what's up though

Digging: Orphaned Land - El Norra Alila

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2019


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It ain't better than Stay Together, but now you have a jolly, cartoon van riding video for 'People Know How to Love One Another' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZjajyNjVA

bloc
July 30th 2019


57579 Comments


That vid wasn't as bad as the product placement one

Pikazilla
July 30th 2019


3494 Comments


Listened to this for 'local cultural relevance' and honestly, I prefer it to their first two records

Same. Employment is fucking annoying.

Divaman
July 30th 2019


4124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked the last one, so I'll definitely give this a listen.

Digging: Batushka - HOSPODI

BenThatsMyJamin
July 31st 2019


2636 Comments


This band define mediocrity

Sinternet
August 2nd 2019


20299 Comments


RUBY RUBY RUBY RUBY

my friend's least favourite song

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

maximomckinnon
August 10th 2019


44 Comments


summary reads really strangely, but great review overall

Divaman
September 14th 2019


4124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've always liked this band much better than does Sputnik, and this album is no exception. It's not their most innovative by any means, but they have a quirky little sense of humor, and I still find them kind of fun.



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