It’s safe to say that Kaiser Chiefs completely wrong footed both their many fans and the world of music in general when they released the first single from their new album back in June this year. In contrast to their previous guitar led indie sound, Parachute showed a distinct pop / dance style and to begin with, a fair amount of fans were really not happy. I loved it and felt the same about the equally catchy second single, Hole In My Soul, which followed in August and vies with Parachute for best video:
The title track, Stay Together, kicks off the album and instantly showcases the rest of the album: catchy, upbeat, synth pop, dancey and something that has you singing along in no time at all. Dancing along seems to be compulsory for me at least which makes writing a review somewhat tricky – taken longer than normal as I keep having to get up and dance!
I opened this review by saying that Stay Together is a completely different sound for Kaiser Chiefs and yet…it’s not. Strip the synth pop sound away and most of the tracks would sound like the guitar led KC sound we all know. I suppose this is not a surprise as they are an extremely well honed band live and several of these songs have already been played live at KC shows so far this year. My favourite songs are Hole In My Soul, Press Rewind, Indoor Firework and High Society, the latter for the novelty value of hearing Ricky sound more like Mika than Mika! I hasten to add that I could have chosen most of the other songs too.
Kaiser Chiefs’ previous album, Education, Education, Education and War was a blistering return to form after the departure of Nick Hodgson and certainly their most cohesive album since their early releases; Stay Together continues in that vein. Despite a difference in sound and subject matter (Stay Together speaks throughout of the tricky business of relationships – which relationships, it’s up to the listener to decide), this sixth album is very definitely to be taken as whole rather a collection of disparate songs. If you’re not keen on your favourite bands taking a new direction then this album might not be for you but you’ll definitely be missing out. Can’t wait to see where Kaiser Chiefs go next.
Stay Together is available here: