The swirling melodies, soaring vocals and scintillating lyrics blend together to...
Shalinee Singh 2005
Employment is the sparkling debut from Leeds lads Ricky Wilson (lead vocals), Andrew 'Whitey' White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass) and Nick 'Peanut' Baines (keyboards). Formerly known as Parva but thankfully reincarnated as Kaiser Chiefs in the summer of 2003, 2004 has seen the band take the opening slot on the NME Awards tour and make their first moves on the USA.
With "Oh My God" nestled up behind artists such as J-Lo and Girls Aloud in the UK top ten, Employment is the final jewel in the crown of the past eighteen months. Jump out of your seat for 45 minutes of a perfectly pop blend of indie, electronica and everything in between.
With producer Stephen Street working his magic on the album and the sound of Graham Coxon's motorbike opening "Saturday Night", it's all too easy to draw comparisons with Blur. Simon Rix concedes "We kind of did that to ourselves because we like Blur. There are a couple of songs on there where we nod to Blur...We do have things in there that are meant to say 'we like this band'". So prepare yourself for a journey through the eras that made British music what it is.
Employment's notable feature is undoubtedly the quirky lyrics that will turn over in your mind for hours after your first listen. 'Pn-n-n-neumothorax is a word that is long but I'm just tryin' to put some punk back into punctured lung' is a personal favourite. Combine these lyrics with an array of kitsch rhymes and polished harmonies and you're left with a tantalising catchiness that begs you to skip to the beginning and listen all over again.
Eccentric tracks like "Time Honoured Tradition" suggest that the Chiefs don't quite fit in. But the swirling melodies, soaring vocals and scintillating lyrics blend together to produce a mêlée of everything that's been missing in pop in recent years. Out of twelve tracks, all twelve entice. Employment reflects a sense of self-indulgent freedom and it's a heck of a lot of fun.