9 April 2009

WHICH BLITZ?

>>>Yeah Yeah Yeahs>>>It's Blitz!>>>
2009 has been a good year for reinvention. Franz Ferdinand have gone from angular indie-rock to experimental disco-dance, The Horrors have morphed from being a bad goth/Sonics tribute band to something a world away (more on that later) and Lily Allen is now Britain's official "state-of-the-nation" addresser according to The Guardian, which says a fair bit about The Guardian's musical taste and knowledge. Moving swiftly on, previous to this year, Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the archetypal 21st Century garage rockers; squalling vocals, choppy distorted guitars and a simple but danceable beat to get them played in indie clubs. But with third album "It's Blitz!", they've dropped the guitars (for most of the tracks) and unexpectedly gone from punk to pomp. Surprisingly they take to electro like ducks to water.

First single "Zero" is a modern classic, mixing the new electronic elements with guitarist Nick Zinner's underrated riffing and Karen O's vocal acrobatics, lodging itself in your memory after the first listen. There isn't much else on "It's Blitz!" that matches up to the superb opener, but that doesn't mean it's all filler. "Heads Will Roll" uses the electronic and guitar parts more liberally and makes for a masterful piece of pop, outstripping the efforts of Lady Gaga, La Roux et al who have attempted the same but fallen well short. "Skeletons" more laid-back synths and militaristic beat allows for a welcome change of pace for five minutes. "Dull Life" brings the album back to life with it's spaghetti western-esque riffs and a return to the YYYs of old in the middle of the track.

But to my ears, this isn't the "spectacular" and "epic" album raved about by the music press. The first half is fantastic, no doubt about that. But past that point everything gets a little samey and dull, apart from album closer "Little Shadow" which sounds like it should have been on Glasvegas' Christmas mini-album with its thumping drums, shimmering synths and bittersweet vocals. If album four is a mix of "Zero" and more of their earlier work then YYYs will have produced a classic. But for now, we're left with a simply alright electro album.
ESSENTIAL TRACKS: "Zero", "Heads Will Roll, "Dull Life", "Skeletons", "Little Shadow"
FOR FANS OF: La Roux, Blondie, The Raputre, Friendly Fires

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1 comment:

Diichan?! said...

Basically unrelated but I love KarenO's mad sense of style. <3
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