on 15 March 2007
I wasn't really sure what to expect from the Chiefs' second album. Their first album was a successful hit, and I wasn't sure they could improve on it. I was proved wrong.
'Yours Truly, Angry Mob', is a more guitar-driven affair, with catchy hooks and superb vocals. KC maintain their radio-friendly image but they also add a more rocking sound to their already accomplished sound.
'Ruby' was the first single to be released and it's not difficult to see why. Shot straight to number one in the singles charts and has a great chorus mixed with brilliant guitar riffs. Ricky Wilson's vocals are improved on 2004's 'Employment', and his vocals have always been strong. An excellent opener. 10/10.
'The Angry Mob' is another anthem, and a typical KC song. Catchy, memorable and brilliant. The part where Wilson begins to sing 'We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day....' is sure to be a highlight around stadiums wherever they go. Superb. 9/10.
'Heat Dies Down' is track three, and it maintains the intensity and purpose of the previous two tracks. This is more in the vein of 'Ruby' than 'The Angry Mob' to be honest. Excellent riffs, and an infectious chorus, coupled with superb, witty, sharp songwriting. This song is the Chiefs at their very best. 10/10.
Track four is 'Highroyds', which harks back to the band's youth. Wilson sings sharply about their teenage years. 'No need for ID with those dresses...' is one witty line among many. The 'woo's' are catchy and the riffs are equally as rememberable. The song finishes with Wilson singing about an ex asking for a song to be written about her...'I don't think so!' is Wilson's emphatic answer to that. Excellent. 9/10.
Track five slows proceedings down, and possibly the slowest track the CHiefs have produced since 2004's 'The Modern Way', off their previous album, 'Employment'. A combination of acoustic guitar, marching-style, 'Welcome To The Black Parade' drums, maybe, occasionally, make for a hazy, dreamy ballad . 'I won't be the one to disappoint you....anymore', Wilson sings. The track, incidentally, is called 'Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)'. 8/10.
Track six, 'Thank You Very Much', harks back to the harder, driven guitars and the catchy pop-rock hooks that KC are renowned for. This is the Chiefs' producing their best style of music. 9/10.
Track seven, 'I Can Do It Without You', is a slightly slower affair, but still a guitar-based one, and still catchy at that. 8/10.
Track eight, 'My Kind Of Guy' is a great tune. Not as good as the earlier tracks on the album, but the lyrics are still as witty and funny. 'You're my kind of guy, 'cause I like your style and you sound as horrible as me,' Wilson sings. Very good. 8/10.
Track nine, 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' is another catchy number. The guitaring is excellent, and the chorus is the pinnacle of the song, as it is with most of their other songs. The songwriting again is super, and the song is short and sweet. 9/10.
Track ten, 'Boxing Champ', is unlike anything the Kaisers have done before. A piano/keyboard piece, lasting only 91 seconds, it could be dismissed as filler, however I see this song as a story and it has somehow affected Wilson for the better. Therefore it's got a purpose and the words are excellent. 8/10.
Track eleven, 'Learnt My Lesson Well', goes back to the usual rocking style of most of the songs heard so far. A simple guitar riff coupled with sharp drums and great rhythms and vocals make for a great song. This might be the strongest song on the album since 'Heat Dies Down', most certainly for its all-round combination of everything- lyrics, vocals, music and rhythm. 10.10.
Track twelve, 'Try Your Best', starts very slowly, but you can hear the anthemic guile within it right from the beginning. It moves along quite slowly but it has a purpose in its sound and the final 30 seconds or so has a tinge of 'Ruby' in it, which can only be a good thing. 9/10.
Track thirteen, and the final track, 'Retirement' is a more up-beat number. The lyrics are as witty as ever and it's about Wilson talking about creating an invention and retiring early. Quite funny, actually, but from a musical perspective, it's also very good, if only a bit repetitive, and makes for the album's weakest track. 7/10.
So, what do I make of 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob'?
I bought this the day it was released and have taken until npw to write a review to try and get into it as much as I could. And I took to it straight away. It's a great album, not quite the finished article, but it nearly is. It's an improvement on 'Employment', but it isn't quite 5-star material just yet. 2007 has been a good year so far for albums, here's hoping the standard continues.
Ricky and the boys get a 9/10. Excellent. Highly recommended for fans of indie rock and supporters of Brit-Pop revival!