Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 28 April 2009
The third album in any band's career is usually an important milestone, sort of a pointer to the future, having taken stock of the past. Not so here. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS is simply the KAISER CHIEFS treading water with no significant evidence of musical progression. Why should that matter? I'm not exactly sure...probably because I've yet to become indifferent towards the band, although I hope that never happens.
However, the production is clean and uncluttered and sounds good played loud. And it's a largely enjoyable, upbeat listen too. Standout tracks include NEVER MISS A BEAT, LIKE IT TOO MUCH, CAN'T SAY WHAT I MEAN and 'The Odd Couple' theme-reminiscent TOMATO IN THE RAIN. Standing out for all the wrong reasons, GOOD DAYS BAD DAYS sounds like The Skids on an even worse day and should really have been left off the album. Perhaps there was a shortage of alternatives.
The sing-along choruses remain intact (always thinking about the live gigs) but one nice touch which won't be reproduced too easily on stage is the ELO-ish string section on LIKE IT TOO MUCH. It works and it's the only real indication of something different going on. The fact that it's a firmly retro touch doesn't surprise but one thought which occurs, and which I haven't been able to shake, is that this album would not have seemed out of place in 1980; 12" vinyl in a small independent record shop, in the section marked 'New Wave'.
Ricky Wilson, Nick Hodgson, Simon Rix, Nick Baines and Andrew White have other ideas in mind, however: they all want to be The Beatles - and Wilson even said in an interview that they were looking to make their own 'Abbey Road' - well, not here and not now, Ricky, not with this much reliance on the auto-pilot. And since you go on about school so much, 'must try harder' seems highly appropriate.
In the end, though, the Kaisers are about fun; they make you smile, their songs are infectious with great vocal harmonies. And they come from Leeds. Fine with me and not too bad a place to be at when the fourth album beckons.