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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2008
So here we are nearing the end of another decade, and just like we were all fatigued with dance music by the very end of the 90s, we are now all starting to get indie fatigued out. And with a lot of modern guitar bands, they do outstay their welcome, with a law of diminishing returns as the albums go by. So I wasn't expecting a great third album from the Kaiser Chiefs, but you know what, it's not half bad.

Their debut 'Employment' had the killer hit singles but it was a bit patchy. 'Yours Truly Angry Mob' was more consistent but lacked the killer hit singles - although they were still quite good and were highly successful. 'Off With Their Heads' is closer in spirit to 'Employment' but this time it has more of a New Wave sound to it - as opposed to a Britpop one with XTC, The Stranglers and The Clash (it's those Joe Strummer style vocals on 'Good Days Bad Days') springing to mind. This album has the best of both worlds, it's got the punchy power pop energy of the first one and the polish and consistency of the second (with perhaps the only exception being 'Addicted To Drugs' which is, let's face it - pants!). Plus it doesn't outstay it's welcome being about only 35/36 mins long. This has great tunes on it like: 'Never Miss A Beat', 'Like It Too Much' (has wonderful late Beatles era string arrangements to it), 'Good Days Bad Days', 'Tomato In The Rain' and 'Always Happens Like That' etc. So I don't think it's time to be "off with their heads" just yet. Also, they seem really up for it on this. Treat yourself, you may be surprised at how good it is.
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on 16 October 2008
Just been listening to the new album and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nothing terribly new in there, but if you like power-pop with catchy riffs and neat hooks (as I do) you'll like this. The production is maybe a little bit slicker, but Mark Ronson has resisted the urge to put his own, er, mark on the recording at the expense of the band's well-established vibe. The familiar lumpen-political rantings of "Never Miss A Beat" (What do you want for tea?/I want crisps - take that, Jamie Oliver!) are a sign of the bands continuing critical affection for the good old stereotype working class lads and lasses oop North, but in a strictly take-no-nonsense way. Foot-tapping songs with articulate lyrics, a combination not to be sneezed at. Recommended.
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on 30 October 2008
I was very disappointed with this album. There are no stand-out tracks other than the hit single Never Miss A Beat. Some other tracks may grow on me in time, but haven't done so yet (after several plays).

The album only contains just over half an hour of music, which is very short by today's standards. I wouldn't mind if it was half an hour of quality without the filler tracks you get on many albums, but this is half an hour of mainly bland, boring tracks. It suggests they were struggling to write enough material for this album.

Nowhere near as good as their previous albums.
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on 2 November 2008
I loved Employment, found Yours Truly, Angry Mob a bit boring and I feel this album is a decline from that. One or two tracks stand out as OK (Never miss a beat and Half the truth) but the rest sort of blend into a mish-mash of disappointment on my point. It's just such a shame because I think Kaiser Chiefs have so much potential to be so much better. Early efforts such as I Predict a Riot and Every Day I love you less and less were completely brilliant.
Don't get me wrong, it's not awful, any hardcore fans will probably still enjoy it, but it's not for someone looking for a nice bit of catchy indie rock.
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VINE VOICEon 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.

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'Off With Their Heads', The Kaiser Chiefs' third album, hasn't been as well received as their first two albums by the general public and it seems as if people are getting bored with the charismatic Ricky Wilson and his band. I can't really see why because this album sticks to the tried and tested formula of the first couple of releases and if you really liked 'Employment' and 'Yours Truly Angry Mob' then it is highly likely that you will enjoy their latest album as well. There are a handful of really great tracks here, including the bleak state-of-the-nation anthem 'Never Miss A Beat' which features a humorous question and answer section ("What do you want for tea? I want crisps!") and a tasty New Wave organ sound. In fact, much of this album reminds me heavily of late 70's/early 80's British music in the same vein as XTC - dark, but melodic, spiky and rough-around-the-edges but with a real pop sensibility (The excellent 'Like It Too Much' could almost be an XTC track, as could 'Always Happens Like That').

Other picks include the shouty, almost annoyingly catchy 'You Want History' which has an irresistible hook - one of those tracks you almost don't want to like but you have no choice. Another highlight is 'Good Days Bad Days' which sounds too much like The Clash for it to be mere coincidence, but it also happens to be a great, likeable song so it also doesn't offend in any way. 'Tomato In The Rain' is an atypically restrained, melodic Britpop near-classic and breaks the collection up nicely. Overall, 'Off With Their Heads' contains plenty of very good new, high energy tunes coupled with smart, cynical lyrics and will most likely keep the dedicated Kaiser Chiefs fans happy but also has enough to offer the casual fan to make this a worthwhile and enjoyable buy. If you have the first couple of albums then you've probably heard much of what this album has to offer before and, admittedly, this release doesn't exactly see the Leeds lads breaking new ground, but if you have the first couple of albums then it stands to reason you'll probably want this one too - and you probably won't be disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2008
I can't really understand why people are so negative about this album.

At first listen it doesn't grab you the way Employment did, but it's doesn't sound less engaging than Angry Mob. If anything the tracks are generally catchier and more consistent.

Ruby stood out on Angry Mob, because some other tracks lagged. Nothing really does here and after two or three listens through some are really good, worthy of Employment.

Maybe I engaged quicker with the album as I'd heard many of the tracks live at a recent concert, but I'd still rate Kaiser Chiefs as one of the best British bands around right now and this album is, in my opinion, a good 3rd album without being anything different.

That said, why would you want anything different from a successful and popular group like the Kaisers?

If you want something different, buy another CD (as well!).
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on 23 November 2008
First album was fantastic and the spiky humour and energetic live shows went down a storm. Album number two was better produced but felt a bit lumpy and lethargic and the live shows became too arrogant.

To be honest I really wasn't expecting much of this so have been very pleasantly surprised. Never Miss A Beat manages to "out Ruby" Ruby! Kaiser Chiefs aren't going to ever write challenging or overly clever lyrics, but what they will do is put a smile on your face. If you want the clever stuff, delve into Radiohead or U2. If you just want to have a bit of fun without thinking get this!

Mark Ronson's production helps enormously. It's clean, fresh without the stodge that was on album two. Fortunately there's the right balance of Ronson's strings and horns. If you listen for them you'll hear and appreciate them. If you didn't listen for them, they won't jump out and bite you.

Apart from the fairly awful "Addicted To Drugs" the rest of the album is great stuff. Some fantastic melodies, funny lyrics - it's just fun.

On the live front, the preview shows for the album were lean, lively and interesting, which is just what the first album delivered.

If you liked the first album, but didn't like the second, don't give up on the Kaiser Chiefs yet.
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on 21 October 2008
The first 6 tracks are very strong then it plunges downhill with Tomato in the Rain, although it rallies somewhat with Always happens like that. The worst tracks are Tomato & Addicted to Drugs which is just pointless (if this is the best you can do then let Robert Palmer rest in peace!) Remember you're a girl is pleasant but not distinctive like Boxing Champ, its forerunner on Angry Mob. But on the plus side, 6 strong tracks in a row is pretty good & beats other big indie bands' recent albums, like Dirty Pretty Things (who managed 4) & the Fratellis (only 2). And Good Days Bad Days is the catchiest song you'll hear this year, which is why I'm giving this CD 4 stars instead of the 3 it would otherwise have merited.
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on 18 April 2009
I don't understand why so many people think the Kaiser Chiefs are declining! They're brilliant! The vocals are strong, the lyrics and melodies are great. If you liked Yours Truly or Employment, you WILL like this. Not perfect, or "Perfect Symmetry" for that matter, but still damn good. I really enjoyed Tomato in the Rain but it's all good. There's not one song that stands out as bad either.

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