Cumbria Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:00 AM 2nd March 2024

Albums: Kaiser Chiefs - Easy Eighth Album

Kaiser Chiefs - Easy Eighth Album

Feeling Alright; Beautiful Girl; How 2 Dance; The Job Centre Shuffle; Burning In Flames; Reasons To Stay Alive; Sentimental Love Songs; Jealousy; Noel Groove; The Lads

(Kaiser Chief Recordings) VVNL 46971

Celebrating their twentieth year, Leeds’s Kaiser Chiefs release their aptly titled eighth album. Whether it is as easy as the title suggests is open to question, as the musical content here is extremely diverse and at times completely different from what their fans have come to expect, which for some might not be an easy listen.

Their often-laddish image came about in no small part due to rousing songs like Ruby and I Predict A Riot, though the band's appeal and popularity have increased with lead singer Ricky Wilson being a judge on the TV talent show The Voice and more recently with Kaiser Chiefs appearing on prime-time television programmes.

The album opens with the disco-influenced Feeling Alright. When you realise that Chic’s Nile Rodgers is involved with the song, things begin to make more sense. The dance grooves continue with How 2 Dance, which comes with a nifty guitar riff, with the track sounding like the cousin to the INXS hit Need You Tonight, benefiting from the production skills of Amir Amor (Rudimental).

Mixing jazz and rock together successfully on The Job Centre Shuffle, the band continues to evolve on a track that takes them out of their comfort zone. The joyful mood continues with the uplifting Jealousy, a number that is sure to become a live favourite when the band tours later this spring.

Burning Flame is a haunting and reflective number that looks back on the band's career, with Wilson sounding sincere and engaging.

Although the album mixes disco, funk, and pop along with their standard indie style, the overall result could be regarded as one that lacks direction and consistency; on the contrary, the album proves that the band can mix different styles successfully and sound refreshing, invigorating, and still relevant.