Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs... It's Blitz

original article in the montclarion

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have traded in their "garage rock" sound for synthesizers and dance beats on their third album, It's Blitz, released on March 31.

The new sound on the album keeps away from their traditional scratchy and loud guitar riffs to more mellow electronic melodies that would start an instant dance party.

The album as a whole has traces of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs mixed in with a new electronic pop sound that's similar to bands like Ladytron. Singer Karen O's voice glues Nick Zinner's buzzing guitar riffs and Brian Chase's strong beats together throughout the album, creating catchy earworms that will take days to get out of your head.

The first song, "Zero," begins by showing O's softer side with whispery vocals that build throughout the song; while Chase's drumming remains consistent during the song, Zinner's guitar is drowned out by all the synthesizers and goes unnoticed. This fallout is quickly forgotten when O's voice becomes stronger, and her repetition of "Oh's" at the end of the song leaves fans hypnotized.

The lyrics on the album are a little disappointing. While past Yeah Yeah Yeahs songs have never been in depth or had many layers to them, It's Blitz seems to have too much repetition. Many "Oooo"s and "Ahhh"s fill up measures where needed lyrics should be, making it feel like something's missing.

"Soft Shock" resembles their past hit "Maps" off of their Fever To Tell album that came out in 2003. With simple keyboards and O's whining, yet sweet voice, a bit of heartbreak is felt in the song when it ends with the repetition of the pleading lyrics "Don't leave me out."

The deluxe edition of this album has acoustic versions of "Soft Shock," "Skeletons," "Hysteric" and "Little Shadow," which leave all the complicated synthesizers out and replaces them with a rich accompaniment of strings.

While this album has been praised by some, it has left other fans wondering where the raw energy of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has gone. Has it been replaced by technology forever?

While it's great that this band is trying something new, one can only hope that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have not forgotten the roots of their music that match their powerful live show stage antics.

Anyone who is willing to give the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new sound a shot will definitely appreciate this album, but for those who are looking for music that resembles their past albums, you'll have to wait and see for the next one.

photo by Guus Krol

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