A while ago I wrote an article on the Kaiser Chiefs, and in that article I was making the argument that what is popular in the U.K. does not always successfully transfer to the U.S., and visa versa. Coincidently, a few days ago I came across a visual representation of exactly what I was talking about. (Sadly the Kaiser Chiefs don’t make the list.) Granted the criss-crossing lines are a little hard to follow at times, but the chart still does serve the purpose of showing us just what is lost in translation, if you will, when artists cross the pond. Plus, it is really interesting to see just what our English friends prefer. One final note, if a band is highlighted, that means that it does not appear on the other nations list.
Late last month, Chris Wolstenholme, Muse’s bassist, said that after the band finishes touring the Resistance (which was released in September 2009) Muse would take a break from being in the limelight. He also went on to say that after the break the band would “definitely” start recording their new album in 2011. I could not be more excited because I expected a new album to come out in late 2012 since it took Muse 3 years to release the Resistance (2009) after Black Holes and Revelations (2006).
The Resistance ran into some criticism when it came out, most notably from Pitchfork which rated the album 59/100. I could not disagree more, considering the fact that when the Resistance was released I ran back to my dorm, put on my head phones, and just listened through the album twice over. The Exogenesis Symphony still remains the closest thing I have had to a religious experience, and MK Ultra is definitely in my top 5 Muse songs. The whole album has a “us against them” feel, but that can be said about most Muse albums. I very much enjoyed the album, and cannot wait for more. Matt Bellamy (the vocalist, guitarist, and pianist) has never let down the fans before, and I doubt that he will release anything less than amazing music. I am hoping for Muse to return to their earlier style, but that’s just me; I am still blown away by the intense guitar solos of Showbiz (1998) and Origin of Symmetry (2001). To be honest, however, any Muse is good Muse in my book.
I want to start off by saying that I have a soft spot for British rock. Maybe it’s the accent that gets me, but I fall for it hook, line, and sinker. It is also possible that it’s just Emma Watson that gets me, but that’s a different story entirely. An English band that is surprisingly underappreciated in the U.S. is the Kaiser Chiefs, which is comprised of five members from Leeds.
The Kaiser Chiefs have released three albums so far, (“Employment”, “Yours Truly, Angry Mob”, and “Off with Their Heads”) and each album has climbed to either the first or second spot on the U.K. charts. They have, however, not had the same success in the U.S., which hurts me personally because I have two of their songs (I Predict a Riot and Ruby) on my iTunes 25 most played songs. It is not an easy feat for European bands to bridge the gap across the Atlantic Ocean. The Arctic Monkeys, for example, have fared better than the Chiefs, but even the Arctic Monkeys deserve more recognition in the U.S., and I am not even going to start talking about the respect that Muse deserves because in my head (very much intended) they are the best modern day band.
The Kaiser Chiefs integrate an electronic aspect into their music which works beautifully with their brand of guitar riffs, but what I find most interesting is that they have two lead vocalists. This creates a very unique blending effect for all of their lyrics. All three of their albums are filled with songs that have catchy beats, lyrics, and guitar solos like: Ruby, I Predict a Riot, Everything is Average Nowadays, Everyday I love you less and less, and Never miss a Beat… honestly, the majority of their songs are good. You will not be disappointed by the Kaiser Chiefs, you may even go on to buy all three of their albums, as I have while writing this post.