Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Album Reviews
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
JJJ567's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 120
Default Yeah Yeah Yeahs- It's Blitz!


It’s Blitz! By Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Interscope Records, 2009
Rating: 8/10

In the often fickle music industry fans can be very adamant about how their favorite artist should sound. For example, upon the release of Radiohead’s 2000 masterpiece Kid A it was clear that fan acceptance was divided. Fans of their grand, guitar-based sound were dissatisfied by its minimalist electronic experimentation. The rest of us appreciate the transformation and consider it a bold standout in the band’s discography. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ third studio album, It’s Blitz!, may not cause such an extravagant rift in the alternative rock trio’s fan base, but it could very well cause some tension. It’s Blitz! finds the band finding new methods of expression that cannot be found on their previous albums.

Listening through the band’s brief discography, one can hear growth between their debut, Fever to Tell, and their second record, Show Your Bones. The former is a completely erratic garage rock stomp. The latter while still holding on some of these characteristics, is largely centered on acoustic guitars and pop accessibility. This record pushes further away from their debut. These tracks are doused shimmering synthesizers and post-punk guitars. Many of these songs feel take on an almost dreamlike quality, while others are bold, dance floor epics. Tracks like “Dull Life” and “Heads Will Roll” combine the group’s new fondness for dreary synth with the biting energy that fans will find familiar. These changes are fresh, and are almost perfectly executed.

Another aspect of the record is Karen O’s commanding performance as the band’s dynamic lead vocalist. Her vocals fail to get lost in the wave of keyboards and guitar like one could anticipate. Instead, she stands right out in her Chrissie Hynde-like dominance. On slow-motion epic “Skeletons” she delivers a very subdued and fragile performance. This is in contrast to “Zero” in which she pants with confidence. Lyrically, Karen is never specific, but rather leaves listeners to fill in the gaps. She does, however, let broader ideas flourish. “Flow sweetly, hang heavy/You suddenly complete me” she swoons on the vulnerably romantic “Hysteric”. Karen focuses less on aggression than ever before, which a clear representation of her growth as a lyricist.

It’s Blitz! finds proper balance between danceable rhythms and emotional beauty. Sonically, it lacks the raw spirit of their previous material. This may turn off older fans. Many fans will certainly understand that Karen’s sentiment and the band’s musical skill has not been lost in this new setting. It’s Blitz! displays a positive confidence and pushes the further development of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sound.
__________________
http://www.last.fm/user/JJJ567

Last edited by JJJ567; 04-04-2009 at 09:13 PM.
JJJ567 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2009, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
Me llamo Marijan
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 6,987
Default

Nice review. Although I have to say I didn't really notice the "jangling" guitars (granted, I'm not the most perceptive of people), maybe because I connect them with British dance-rock bands. Do I even know what jangling means? I always thought it was a high pitched guitar sound and the YYYs always sported the exact opposite, deep, dirty and distorted guitar which gave them such a huge sound even though there's only 3 people in the band (and effectively only 2 instruments). :\

Incidentally I like the album, although I would say it isn't on par with Show your bones.
adidasss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2009, 09:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
JJJ567's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 120
Default

I've always likened the "post-punk" style guitar to a jangle sound. The guitar sound is a lot different on the album, not quite as distorted in many places but Nick Zinner's style hasn't really changed a lot. I was actually thinking of "Dragon Queen" when I had the word "jangle" in mind. I am listening snippets again, and I think I'll change the wording.
__________________
http://www.last.fm/user/JJJ567
JJJ567 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2009, 03:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
Model Worker
 
Gavin B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,238
Default

I think YYYs had played out most of the textbook possiblilties of their first incarnation as arty garage rock band. It was time for YYYs to move on, before creative ossification set in. Skeletons is evidence of what a confident and unique vocal stylist Karen has become. I always thought Karen O.'s habit of level mixing her expressive vocals beneath the high decibal wash of YYY's wall of sound was a sign of insecurity on her part.

JJJ's analogy to Chrissie Hynde's development as a vocalist rings true. There's no question that YYYs is an artistic vehicle for the talents of Karen O., in the same manner that the Pretenders were synonomous with Chrissie Hynde's development as a songwriter and singer.

It's inevitable that insanely talented female vocalists like O., Chrissie, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, or Bjork will be in command any band they sing with. The indomitable force of Karen O.'s creative vision is bigger than any band she plays in.
__________________
There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt
Gavin B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.