If your previous album was a slow-burning success story, it can be hard to be expected to hit the ground running on the follow-up. Fortunately, the Kaiser Chiefs have done just that on the fantastically-titled Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Like Employment, their debut and this album's predecessor, Yours Truly... is full of radio-friendly, hook-ridden tunes that mask cunningly subversive lyrics. The Kaiser Chiefs are very much a Britpop band, which is probably why "Highroyds" opening couplet--"I remember nights out when we were young/ They weren't very good they were rubbish"--sounds like something Jarvis Cocker would sing, while being backed by the boys from Blur. And it's this lyrical sentiment that's carried throughout the album, much of which is satire wrapped up in potential singles. Best of all, and a perfect example of this, is "The Angry Mob", sure to be shouted along to by exactly the people it's targeting. It's the rare band that can mock and judge its audience and still be loved by them, but that's exactly what the Kaiser Chiefs have done on Yours Truly, Angry Mob. --Ted Kord
A billion useless words are expended daily on the 'difficulty' of producing a second album (especially following one that outsold sliced bread). Thank goodness the Kaiser Chiefs ignored them all and just got on with the job. Yours Truly Angry Mob is going to rule the world. Well, for the next couple of months anyway.
While it's the entirely dull Ordinary Boys who have revived ska as a household word, it's the Kaiser Chiefs who seem to have brought back the true spirit of Madness. Not since Suggs and Co. gave it all up to host game shows and release greatest hits albums every two years have a band revelled in the sheer joy of being young, free and not-so-innocent. Following their reintroduction of the word 'thee' into everyday usage, they now pile on song after song of schoolboy cheekiness (dressed up as anger, natch). Even on 'The Angry Mob' (aimed at reactionary tabloid junkies) and 'Highroyds' (about a mental hospital) they still sound like they're really hanging around waiting for detention. 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' mentions playing football and sledging, for goodness sake. It may not be the crack-smoking, groupie-mauling chic we expect of our rock stars, but it's a damn sight cooler for it.
Yours Truly! pumps up Employment's energy factor in full anticipation of those stadiums they'll have to fill this summer. Singalong choruses, snappy little epiphets and frankly bouncy playing all guarantee that everyone and their mates will be punching the air at an enormo-shed near you soon.
Only on the slower 'Try Your Best' does the attention start to waver. Yes, the up-tempo numbers are often die-cut copies of each other and yes, the lyrics' self-conscious attempts to be 'quirky' tends to get tedious. But hey, with such bravado and glee at its heart, only a dead cod could object to Yours Truly! Before Ricky becomes a regular fixture on every TV quiz show and the band fade from consciousness, let's just enjoy 'em while we can. In ten years we'll miss them. The little scamps! --Jerome Blakeney
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KAISER CHIEFS Yours Truly Angry Mob (2007 UK Special Edition 13-track CD album - Ricky Nick & co have returned with this follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album Employment and includes the single Ruby Everything Is Average Nowadays & The Angry Mob. Housed in a picture sleeve BUN122CD)