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Kaiser Chiefs are no longer an indie rock band

The dance breakthrough i Kaiser Chiefs they had already taken it in 2016, with Stay Together. Then with Duck (2019), they had scaled it back. Now, with Kaiser Chiefs' Easy Eighth Album, they claimed it loudly. And the voice in question is that of the charismatic frontman (now also a television personality) Ricky Wilson. Almost twenty years have passed since the Kaiser Chiefs' recording debut and Wilson's transformation from scruffy and hoppy indie rocker to luxury entertainer is complete. The whole group with him – Simon Rix on the bass, AndrewWhiteyWhite on the guitar, NickPeanutBaines to keyboards and Vijay Mistry on drums – has progressively renewed itself, approaching the mainstream. A wetsuit from which the former Parvas came out quite well. Other illustrious colleagues with whom they shared the indie explosion in the noughties, it must be underlined, had a decidedly less long-lived artistic life. That said, the funky flavor of the new Kaiser Chiefs is inconsistently convincing. And it doesn't really clarify the direction the band has taken The Easy Eighth.

Feeling Alright it is a manifesto of their intentions: «Now we've got to dancing all night». The aspiration is to be played in dancefloor British, and beyond. The quality certification is the signature Nile Rodgers, co-author of the song. First world star of disco music with the Chic and then brilliant producer, the American artist also has the merit of having been involved in the production Amir Love (Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX), who ended up producing all ten songs on the album.

Beautiful Girl it has a guitar riff that recalls the early sound, but the character is different. The Kaiser Chiefs have always had the attitude of hitmakerbut the British pop of The Easy Eighth, although it sounds good, is not very incisive. Sound of the guitars, rhythmic intertwining of bass and drums, vocal approach: the instinctiveness and vitality that made the Kaiser Chiefs a cult band for fans of the genre.

How 2 Dance completely avoid referring to the the group's indie past, but it's really a hit that makes you dance (complete with a drop in the chorus). If the arrangement recalls Daft Punk, the lyrics seem to be a self-quote. The line «Tonight I promise we gon' start a riot» brings back the success of I Predict at Riot. But the nights at the Majestyk Club in Leeds, told in the 2004 cult song, were decidedly wilder than those of How 2 Dance.

Job Center Shuffle it is a hymn to after workwith a funky attack and a nice horn arrangement: «Tired of impressing the boss it's too short […] Lot on my mind but there nothing to do cos I'm bored [… ] Buttons to press and switches to flick […] We smashed our phones, smashed those screens.” One of the most interesting lyrics on the album.

The second part of the setlist reverses the dance trend of the first half. Reasons to Stay Alive it's a piece rock from distorted guitars and overdriven voices. The chorus of Noel Groove it is all sung in falsetto, while an engaging rhythm plays underneath. But the catchiest melody of the record is Sentimental Love Songs, with its reference to the Eighties The Cure. The riff hooks right from the start, supported by the choirs and the guitar solo. In addition to being one of the most successful songs on the album, this piece also has the merit of raising a doubt in the listener: but are the Kaiser Chiefs really sure about this dance breakthrough?


Kasabian – Call

Kings of Leon – Mustang

SZA – Saturn

Source: Vanity Fair

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