Kaiser Chiefs – “Parachute” (Singles Going Steady)

On "Parachute", the first single released from their upcoming LP Stay Together, Kaiser Chiefs scrap the punk-inspired edge that gave their earlier music grit and dynamism.

Pryor Stroud: The Kaiser Chiefs dived headfirst into the post-Britpop fray with an infectious blend of McCartney-deifying melodics and cocksure, curled-lip attitude. “Oh My God” was an earnest pub-rock anthem about working class misery and the red-eyed ambition that often accompanies it; “I Predict a Riot” was a bloodthirsty mob of angular guitars and hyper-paranoid verses, all seething with the imminent chaos its lyric foreshadowed. But in “Parachute”, the first single released from their upcoming LP Stay Together, the band scraps the punk-inspired edge that gave both of these tracks their grit and dynamism. We’re left with a prototypical Kaiser Chiefs melody divorced of its attitude and processed through contemporary Coldplay production, which, while less than ideal, isn’t a total tragedy: “If we’ve only got one parachute / You know I’ll give it to you”, vocalist Ricky Wilson sings, his boyish croon launched upward by a groundswell of synthesizers, and even though the lyric looks definitively corny on paper, it almost seems genuine — like a promise of devotion passed between lovers — in practice. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: An airy, light, pop production doesn’t really suit these guys. “Parachute” seems to have neutered them, and that’s not a good thing. The whole song has a very generic sound and zero edge. If they’re trying to sound like Coldplay, they’re failing miserably, because even Coldplay has more bite than this piffle. [4/10]

Steve Horowitz: A very sweet song that doesn’t try to be anything else. This makes listening to it fresh the first time. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just wish there was more to it. The video nicely captures the fun spirit—and it almost looks like the clown jumper at the end was farting balloons—but, alas, I think that is too much to hope for. [7/10]

Chad Miller: Though excessively boring lyrically, the track is pretty fun to listen to with its sweeping chorus and buoyant mallet lines. Though its pop indulgence keeps the song pleasant, there’s a lot of emotion tucked away in the underlying lines to be discovered. [7/10]

SCORE: 6.25