The Future is Looking More Like The Past

I'm not going to pretend I've always loved the Kaiser Chiefs. In all honesty some of their material I not only struggle with, I fight it, it's like a three and a half minute fight for life if it comes on the radio. I've nearly driven my car off a bridge scrambling for the off button.


However this morning I've bucked this bizarre self harming Kaiser trend and feel I owe Ricky Wilson and Co an apology. I'm sitting here listening to their new material and I'm really smitten by the band. The songs are good. Four word review 'click link, buy, enjoy'

The bands new album 'The Future is Medieval' is not only awesome, it's 'my' album. It's the album I'd chose if I was A&Ring them, because that's exactly what they let me do. They gave me control of my music choices. Ricky himself explains it best in an email to music industry voice Bob Lefsetz;

"What we did is record 20 tracks and people can pick 10 of them, in any order they like. It's all done through a website. We had objects built that represent each song and you sort of wire them up to a machine to make your album. Then we got an artist to do an oil painting of each of those objects which people can use to piece together their artwork. So it's a very tactile and old-fashioned looking way of making a digital album made up of computer data."

And it's a great adventure. I sat listening this morning to the 20 tracks, 60 minutes in I thought I had my ten choices, my album was complete. But then I thought 'I'll just skim over the other 10 I haven't chosen and doh! don't do it people, make your choices and walk away, cause this is where the game begins, I really liked track 'A', but track 'B' has that awesome driving bass riff. so do i ditch track 'C' and....aarrggghhh Damn you Kaisers, you've made a wonderful process painful, fun, entertaining. Heck, you've turned buying an album into a gameshow! and it took me nearly two hours (It's not something to take lightly, it's light naming your child, err.....maybe?)

Then they made me build my own album cover, that was easy and I have to say I felt a little underwhelming. I really wanted to find an upload button so I could upload a picture of...well me to be honest. I wanted to be the centre of attention, so I went with the obvious choice of the conjoined gun toating teddies, the nearest thing to me I could find!

So, I have now got my hard fought album, and this is the best bit, now I've created it, you can buy it too. The band first turned me into A&R and now into a distributor and ultimately salesman. It's everything that's right about music, it's a good price for an album at £7.50. My only gripe is that I received MP3's, I kinda feel a few options would have been nice. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to these things and hate moaning about it, but I'm going to anyway.

However, if you like 'my' Kaiser album, you can buy it, and here's the special bit. I get £1 back from every sale, thus 8 sales and I'm in profit. Result.

Well done to the band and the label, good idea well executed. But please let's not get carried away with this or the future could be full of music salesmen and nobody to buy anything off any one else, so let's keep it our little secret ;)