Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Stay Together’ Review

Score

Veteran Leeds quintet Kaiser Chiefs have swapped indie for sincere synthpop

You couldn’t accuse Kaiser Chiefs of stagnating with their sixth album ‘Stay Together’. The worst thing a veteran band can do is pump out similar albums of decreasing quality – a route the Leeds quintet have clearly resolved to avoid. Equally, they’ve ventured so far into alien territory it’s hard to see much of the gobby, eyeliner-smeared indie band that won fans with tunes like 2004’s ‘Oh My God’.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised: Kaiser Chiefs have been enjoying wider renown since frontman Ricky Wilson joined The Voice as a judge in 2013.Trimming away the spikier aspects of their music is the logical next step.

Most of their past albums had rebellious or political overtones – 2008’s ‘Off With Their Heads’, or their most recent, 2014’s ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ – but the theme of ‘Stay Together’ is, says the album’s press release, “monogamy”. “There’s a hole in my soul that can only be filled by you”, yelps Wilson on ‘Hole In My Soul’, from under a torrent of X Factor-style violins.

‘Parachute’, the album’s first single, shoots for voguish, vaguely tropical production via Kylie and Girls Aloud hitmakers Xenomania, but is a tad sappy. Wilson’s pop vocal is much more convincing on the album’s bangers, ‘Press Rewind’ and ‘Happen In A Heartbeat’. But it’s on ‘High Society’ – a strutting falsetto oddity – that the frontman unveils his roguish side and proves they’re still the same loveable band after all.

Details

Record label: Kaiser Chiefs/Caroline International
Release date: 07 Oct, 2016