The Kaiser Chiefs Fuse with the Best of Them

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The Kaiser Chief’s Employment is one of the best debut albums of the last decade. The Kaiser Chiefs broke onto the scene with Employment in 2005 with a sound reminiscent of the early 80s, solid pop throughout.  Their music sounds like 80s power rock but it also sounds current—and the lyrics have some weight. Put that all together and you have a compelling album, the first of many.

The lead song, “Everyday I Love You Less and Less,” has clear roots in the XTC sound of the Drums and Wires era and it is great to hear new tunes of that ilk. The sound is generally of that era and leaning, though there are other influences clearly evident as well. The 60s are not overlooked by the Kaiser Chiefs.

60s Influences, But the Rarer Ones

What there is of the 1960s here, and in their other albums, is not affected or heavy-handed modelling.  It’s in tunes like “Modern Way” and “You Can Have It All” where the familiar and inviting sounds of the 60s overlay New-Wave drumming, keyboard, and (sometimes) guitar.  It’s not Beatlesque at all, rather it owes more to The Kinks and that now rare sound we associate with The Hollies.


“Na Na Na Na Naa” and “Saturday Night” are—on the other hand—clearly of the Drums and Wires era, that transitional period between Punk and New Wave. “What Did I Ever Give You” and many of the others are a melding of the influences and represent what we associate with the Kaiser Chiefs, a fusion of eras and influences that works well where we are now.



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