Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Fri 17th Apr, 2009 Music Reviewsin
Via the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the cool kids at Modular have proved once again why they’re such a successful Australian label. They can see the potential for a dynamic and growing sound, and that’s exactly what we get with this album.
When the group started out they paralleled with many artist that were making it big under the Modular label, such as Van She and Cut Copy. A similar electro pop sound that seemed to dominate the music waves of the last few years. Labeling themselves as ‘alternative’ is obviously an attempt at pushing away from that electro pop bubble. The reality is pop is a changing sound too. An obvious and catchy sound at all times, but yes, it too evolves in its own way. And with a name like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, can you really ever take them too seriously?
Having said that, It’z Blitz! is a display of their maturing sound. Yes, the irrelevant lyrics and dragging out of words are still there along with the abundance of breathy throw aways – yeah, ooh, ha!, wow, aah even cha cha, but singer Karen O has an almost Bjork like approach on this album which manages to tie it all together.
Starting of with Zero and Heads will Roll was a typical move. Very perky and punchy and ultimately an expected summary of the album. But when Soft Shock arrives you realize this album is geared for a more mellow tone overall. Apparently the band began recording this album in a barn, in Massachusetts, during a snowstorm. The track Skeletons is a reflection of the atmosphere you would expect in a place like that. Plus for some reason I keep picturing a lone ranger, trotting along on his horse on the way into the desert. Is there desert in Massachusetts?
Dull Life on the other hand is not dull at all. Very up beat and very… well… full of heavy beats. But this is the true Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with a bit of their original dirty, trashy sound coming through. Don’t expect to hear a lot of their old sound though. They have indeed moved forward and onto something, not bigger, but could be interpreted as better. The promotional write up that I received with the CD claims to associate the group with Joy Division. Seriously… that’s not right. Not to be too contentious, but when was the last time you heard a sound that wasn’t associated with the 80’s.
Runaway is definitely worthy of acknowledgment. Not the most original sound but again, a beautifully mellow addition to the album. So with a typical beginning we are bound to have a typical end. The closing track Little Shadow will make you think that the band is holding hands standing in a circle swaying from left to right. Ok now I’m being mean. Actually again, like Runaway it is a beautiful song and a smooth way to finish.