Fans of Kaiser Chiefs (the band, not the football team) will no doubt be excited about the release of the debut album Employment today. They should be even more excited to learn that Kaiser Chiefs will be playing a free gig at HMV on Oxford Street (the Oxford Circus store, not the Bond Street one) tonight at 8.30pm. The gig is open to only 400 lucky people, however, via the obtaining of a wristband given away with copies of the album bought at that HMV today.
The album gets kind reviews. Drowned In Sound and The Guardian both give Employment 4 out of 5, whilst The Independent creams itself in the process of awarding the full five stars. "Employment has the swagger and momentum of a genuine pop classic, stuffed full of smart, catchy songs played with a confidence and brio not encountered since the Blur/Oasis wars," they reckon. The Observer is a fan of the album and picks up on the Britpop riff: "All we need is for the Kaisers to declare war on current Oasis wannabes, Kasabian, and it'll be Britpop all over again." The Guardian's review hears the Blur influence too: "Listening to their shamelessly pleasurable debut album, only one tag seems appropriate, however shopworn it may be: Britpop." It doesn't see this as much of a problem, though: "[Employment] is so confident, so smart, so full of life, that a more enjoyable 45 minutes is hard to imagine."
A bit longer in the tooth are Idlewild, who release Warnings/Promises today. Drowned In Sound can't quite make up its mind about the album, giving it 3½ out of 5 in a review that isn't quite positive but seems to want to be. "Warnings/Promises is the work of a band pushing itself to the limits of its generous, but ultimately not boundless musical ability." The Observer's not as generous, saying "for all Woomble's lyrical creativity, their new ringing guitars and plodding pace mistake dullness for accessibility. Everything else here is a little brooding, a little uplifting, and - unfortunately - a little samey." The Guardian gives a 3 star review, saying that the album is a "slightly awkward composite of the band's old strengths and a flurry of new ideas" Save your money for the Kaiser Chiefs' album, then.