Stars Need Not Be Human
A couple of ingeniously-handled musical instruments star in Yours Truly, Angry Mob, an energetic sophomore effort by Brit-popâ€šÃ„Ã´s Kaiser Chiefs. A rollicking guitar/synthesizer party backs up, responds to and occasionally spars with the vocals of singer Ricky Wilson. Rarely have instruments sounded so human, so alive and so indomitable in spirit.Nearly every intro and chorus kicks off with a magnificent backdraft of melody. In â€šÃ„ÃºEverything is Average,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Andrew Whiteâ€šÃ„Ã´s gleeful guitars wail along with the refrain, dropping out only to let Nick Bainesâ€šÃ„Ã´ even more gleeful keys have a go. In radio hit â€šÃ„ÃºRuby,â€šÃ„Ã¹ choruses dissolve into elated oohs and ahhs made by backing vocals and electronics cooing in unison.
However, Yours Truly is not all fun and games. Wilson is in an awkward spot, and it shows in every clever lyrical twist (â€šÃ„ÃºDue to lack of interest, tomorrow is cancelled,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºI can do it without youâ€šÃ„Â¶but it wonâ€šÃ„Ã´t be very goodâ€šÃ„Ã¹). The trouble is that Wilson styles his wit in a manner neither endearing nor snarky; he rides the cool-as-a-cucumber middle and comes across as aloof.
Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s certainly rare to find popular rock where the instruments supply the je ne sais quoi. Even stranger is that a band hailed as one of Britainâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest hopefuls is most memorable in a guttural, bluesy romp (â€šÃ„ÃºMy Kind of Guyâ€šÃ„Ã¹) that sounds like it was incubated in the mud of Americaâ€šÃ„Ã´s Deep South. Perhaps Kaiser Chiefs would have made this good album great if they forgot about the expectations of their genre and just let the party happen. However, Yours Truly is an odd specimen that is worth venturing throughâ€šÃ„Ã®and these boys can write a mean chorus!