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Kaiser Chiefs

Employment
Universal

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Melancholy synth-addled pop songs harmonizing about the woes of financial and social depression sung by spotty young limeys with haircuts and scarfs: Now that it's become an '80s-revival revival, this thing is deeply out of control. Imagine Blur's most enthusiastically dated moments of summery new wave-ism and modern mod on Parklife and The Great Escape, simmering for a decade in the minds of five Leeds lads. Now imagine those potential singalongs extracted by studio mastermind Stephen Street, whose production talents provided us with both of those records. That, my friends, is Employment -- more specifically "Born To Be a Dancer," "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" and "I Predict a Riot," the most infectious of the disc's host of probable singles.

 

There are bits and pieces on Employment that perhaps won't make you feel either confounding-slash-annoying déjí vu or profound flash-in-the-pan pop enjoyment (depending on your age and disposition), such as the agonizing "Caroline, Yes" and the oddball "Time Honoured Tradition," which has the late-2-Tone rave-up bounce of fellow Class-of-'04 grads The Zutons (though the Chiefs do it better). But they're few and far between.

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