Kaiser Chiefs

Off With Their Heads

[4/5]

Kaiser Chiefs’ last album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, was 2007’s biggest-selling U.K. rock release. This time, the band aren’t taking any chances, recruiting Lily Allen (to lend her considerable vocal charms to wistful Brit-pop gem “Always Happens Like That”) and producer Mark Ronson. As befits his whiz-kid status, Ronson makes the most of every moment, from the spunky punk guitars and primal jungle drums of “Never Miss A Beat” to the Blondie-loving disco pulse of “Good Days Bad Days.” On “Like It Too Much,” James Bond composer David Arnold offsets a minimal swagger with majestic string arrangements, but it’s leadoff rocker “Spanish Metal” that sounds more like a classic spy theme. Meanwhile, singer Ricky Wilson holds it all together with his charismatic personality, demanding you sit up and listen the second he opens his mouth to kick things off (“How could I not notice it before?/Well, you might as well have pinned it to my door”). “Addicted To Drugs” is brilliant, from its cheeky quotes of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” to Wilson’s darkly comic portrait of junkies in love. (UNIVERSAL MOTOWN) Ed Masley



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