It is hard to feel anything but alright when legendary Chic member Nile Rodgers is a featured artist. Kaiser Chiefs may not be as well-remembered for their quality as they should be – and latest track Feeling Alright hopes to put the record straight. Clear the air, enlist a hero, and bring about the first song from an upcoming album. Easy Eight is an apt title for this latest record from the Ruby and I Predict a Riot hit writers, as the easy-going style and natural charms of their efforts here are hard not to like. Autotuned and electronically bashed to hell and back – at the very least the bingo-card style of tapping instruments here or there has signs of Chic influence. It may just be a bassline but take it.
Stuff your ears full of light work from the Kaiser Chiefs and Nile Rodgers. It is a fair pairing and does the job ahead of their latest album – but when has a single getting itself over the line ever been anything to praise? Frankly, Feeling Alright, as light and fluffy as it is, is just that – apéritifs before what will likely be a rotten main course. Explosive vocoder pieces on this latest record give Kaiser Chiefs a clear transitional pace which moves them further still from the headline act monster they once were. We cannot live in the spotlight forever, though the one-hit wonder label comes knocking for those who live on the coattails of Everyday I Love You Less And Less. A stylistic change and point of no return were found years ago, but the lighter flourishes here are hard to truly love.
Proud of the “big ass crowd singing loud” implies Kaiser Chiefs still receive one. Feeling Alright goes on forever, an eternity of a three minutes this is. Days pass and on it goes, leaving little imprint. The equivalent of dropping a Turkish Delight on the floor, seeing the sugar powder around the edges – yet the imprint of the drop shows little damage. Dream Job from Yard Act is the palette cleanser a Spotify shuffle throws up – and standing off against one of the best songs of the year after such a forgettable one wipes the mind clean. Feeling Alright is a fine bit of fun for the lighter hearts out there but offers absolutely nothing of recognisable or memorable quality. Considering the wider releases from this year – you can safely slot Feeling Alright alongside Johnny Marr’ Somewhere. Acceptable on a general level, but lacking everywhere else.
It is not a strong start for Kaiser Chiefs, then, even with Rodgers clinging on for dear life. Give it a half hour and out of the brain it goes – never to be heard from again. Forgettable records are bought in bulk, twenty for £10, at a local café. But Kaiser Chiefs have just one, new, forgettable song to showcase so far. Give it a few years and this will not be looked back on at all, let alone fondly. Feeling Alright has all the makings of a solid song, with countless decades of experience between those involved – but it appears futile when eventually pieced together. No good comes of the experience, a tiring endeavour which squares the upcoming album as a possibly damaging, dull work.