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The practicality of singles collections is slowly, but surely becoming an irrelevant luxury for bands in this modern time and with singles downloads far exceeding that of albums and streaming services allowing people to simply choose the songs they like, why would a band bother with making a compilation of their own singles?
Thankfully, Leeds based Britpop revivalists Kaiser Chiefs defied this logic and have released Souvenir, a singles collection that dates right through their back catalogue from 2005’s Employment right up until their latest The Future Is Medieval.
Looking back on the previous albums as wholes, none of them stood out as timeless albums. However Kaiser Chiefs have never been that sort of band, instead they are renowned for their incredibly catchy and involving singles, which have been festival anthems all across the globe. So essentially, this is the best method for the group to showcase how good they can really be.
Kicking off the mixed bag of singles is Oh My God, the track that Mark Ronson and Lily Allen decided to jazz up on Ronson’s covers album Version. The original track hasn’t really been heard that much in the 8 years since its release, but as Simon Rix’s distinctive smooth bass line kicks in, it’s hard not to reminisce.
Listening through Souvenir, its almost like looking through an old photo album, each song unleashes a memory that you never thought existed and its actually surprising how many great singles Kaiser Chiefs released over their relatively short career. Evenly spread amongst the 16 track mix, are Hottest 100 graduates and festival favourites Never Miss A Beat, Modern Way and The Angry Mob, all uplifting and engaging tracks that are so incredibly simple that they are so incredibly brilliant. Since there are so many great tracks to choose from, the task of picking the best of a best of album is actually pretty difficult, but it’s hard to go past the inevitable chanting of Ruby and the brawl inducing I Predict A Riot two tracks nearly impossible not to sing along to.
Accompanying the 14 already standing singles, Kaiser Chiefs have included two new tracks, Listen To Your Head and On The Run, with the latter coming from the American re-release of their latest album titled Start The Revolution Without Me. The new singles aren’t as classic as Ruby or Never Miss A Beat, but they fit in perfectly amongst the collection and are a nice added bonus to the already great lot of singles.
Again, the idea of a singles collection in this day and age does seem a little pointless, but if nothing else, Kaiser Chiefs have created Souvenir to simply remind people of the great selection of songs they have in their arsenal. It isn’t a must have buy of the year, but for those with limited Kaiser Chiefs in their library, then this is a brilliant way to get into one of the most engaging Britpop bands of the decade.