Kaiser Chiefs opens their seventh studio album Duck with a burst of positive energy in the song, “People Know How To Love One Another”. The English indie rock band challenges the impending Brexit with a message of love they have learned from touring around the world. While Duck has its moments of musical magic, there are gaps of aimless filler that on repeat listening forgettably blends in with each other. Die-hard fans will rejoice over the new music to add to their collection, but Duck would have been a better six-song LP than a full album only half-filled.
“Wait” is by far the strongest song of the album and deserves its place on your playlist. The song is quirky and festive with the energy to inspire entire auditoriums and festivals in joyous dance. It captures the dopamine thrill the Internet can provide even as the lyrics beg the listener to wait, but it is just too much fun to dance along. Frontman Ricky Wilson sings, “Everyone is famous, line up and take a number, just wait/ How can you be crying when everyone around you is…/ Laughing all the time, singing as we go/ Looking like an ad, drinking Diet Coke/ Everybody dance, let’s break down tonight.” Even with its message of warning, the thrill of “Wait” sweeps the listener up in fast-paced fun that is better to ask less about.
Fear of the Internet that has turned us all into rabid consumers fills the album, such as the love ballad, “Target Market.” It takes a slow dance and fills the messaging with advertising slogans to relay gratitude for our forever partners. Even those outside of the advertising industry speak the lingo, as we have all become social media marketers of ourselves. Sadly the song drags on without finding solid footing as a protest of our times or a wedding anthem. Several other songs such as “Lucky Shirt,” “Northern Holiday,” and “Kurt vs. Fraiser (The Battle for Seattle)” face the same issues in that they fill the album without packing a punch to make them memorable.
There are plenty of songs from Duck that hold up the rest of the album. “Record Collection” contains the funky spirit of the nostalgic past infused with the electronic beats of the future. “Electric Heart” is packed with vibrancy and “Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something” marches to an authentic beat. Half the album is enjoyable, but the other half simply slips by and is stretched too thin.