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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Kaiser Chiefs
Universal Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

April 21, 2005
Kaiser Chiefs' Employment comes replete with style and attitude. Brandishing New Wave-tinged, British power pop and distinctive accents that allow the listener to discern from any American imitators, Employment begins by spitting in your face but eventually apologizes for it later, sloppily toweling off saliva from your cheeks, losing momentum and smearing itself too thin.

The album starts with "Everyday I Love You Less And Less," a keyboard bass line hazing its way, setting the pace for a spirited dialogue expounding on fleeting love. The narrator wears his discontent like a badge, hoping the whole world catches a glimpse of how little he cares for his woman, and more importantly, how much she cares for him.

"I Predict a Riot" follows up with even more energy and confidence, not surprisingly finding its way stateside as an import single. Handclaps echo during the chorus, a bouncing organ makes its way into the fray along with melodic and catchy vocals, showcasing the Kaiser Chiefs talents and grasp of good pop rock.

Like fellow countrymen The Futureheads, Kaiser Chiefs know how to make dynamic rock music. Earlier influences are obvious, with the new wave of the 80s creating a base, mingling with the psychedelic pop of the 60s and a shot of 70s punk gusto tying loose ends, but the concoction dilutes, becoming watered and weak.

Where The Futureheads manage to maintain a manic, engaging pace start to finish, Kaiser Chiefs stray from what makes the first half of the album work. The energy of the cocky "Saturday Night" leads way into the silly "Time Honoured Tradition," the album finally incorporating a couple stifling ballads to end the album ("Caroline, Yes," and "Team Mate"). It's not that these closing tracks are inherently bad; rather, their flaws (pace and placement) are glaring in comparison to the previous efforts.

Kaiser Chiefs manage find their footing early on and this success forgives them their meanderings later on the disc. The first half of this album - especially tracks one and two - promise much of this young band, hopefully memories to be relived on future releases rather than stilled photographs hanging on the fridge.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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