This is the Kaiser Chiefs fifth album and their first without drummer and lyricist Nick Hodgson (who left the band at the end of 2012 and was replaced by Vijay Mistry). This album reached number one in the UK album charts, which is what lead singer Ricky Wilson set out to achieve by joining The Voice.
What I really like about this album is that it has the running theme of education and war. All the songs link to the album name which creates a nice atmosphere when listening to the album, it’s not just a set of songs, you feel like you’re involved in the story.
The album tracks sound more like the Kaiser Chiefs early material than the singles. Their first single “Coming Home” is the least complicated track on the album, the lyrics are simple and the chorus is easy to remember. I’m glad it’s only the second song on the album, I think that if it was any later it would have slowed the album down and would have affected the momentum.
“Meanwhile Up In Heaven” is also a slower track. It’s a nice song though, it puts across the message that the dead aren’t really gone and they are all just waiting for us, and we will see them again when the time comes.
“Misery Company” is one of my favourites, it’s very early Kaiser Chiefs, you feel that the song has something to say, it has a message within a very strong song and the brilliantly placed laughter has a masochistic feel that leaves you only slightly uncomfortable.
“Cannons” is also a good song, it’s not incredibly mindblowing but within the context of the album it is one of the best. The end was very unexpected, the poem of the Occupation of Damnation Eternal narrated by Bill Nighy was very interesting. I felt I had been transported back to a history lesson that seemed to tie in all the songs and make them all very relevant to eachother.
This album is a real moral booster, it feels very powerful which I think was done to set the scene for the war theme. It takes references from recent wars as well as the World Wars, the perception of each song let’s the listener decide what era they are in.
Overall the album wasn’t a hundred miles away from something the Kaiser Chiefs have previously done, I think the main problem with this album is that the songs were good, but they were all really similar, the singles stood out as slower tracks, but the others were difficult remember after the album finished.
Order on iTunes: