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Snap Judgment: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'It’s Blitz!'


It was only a week ago that Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans were buzzing over “Zero,” the first single from the act's highly anticipated, exclamation-point-enhanced new album, "It’s Blitz!"

Loaded with swirling, colorful synthesizers that could have been lifted from a Little Boots song, “Zero” plays like the perfect soundtrack to a raucous, beer-fueled dance party, ultimately driven by a propulsive beat and singer Karen O’s signature yowl. And then bright and early this morning, the full-length album made its way onto the Internets, revealing a revitalized band -- one bouncing back from its contentious and far more eclectic sophomore effort, "Show Your Bones."

With "It’s Blitz!" not due to hit retailers until April 14 (!), the rumors of guitarist Nick Zinner all but abandoning his six-string for keyboards seem to have been greatly exaggerated. While analog synth sounds are everywhere, Zinner’s dexterous ax-slinging appears to be in ample evidence here.

But more than anything, the YYY’s new LP finds the trio taking their sound directly to the heart -- and the heart of the dance floor. A mission statement: “Dance 'til you’re dead / Off with your head!” Karen O howls on “Heads Will Roll,” another floor-mover that shares plenty of DNA (and melody) with New Order’s classic “Blue Monday.”

Dreamy romanticism marks numbers like the bouncy “Soft Shock” and “Hysteric,” but it’s with the sweet electro-ballad “Skeletons” that the band finally produces a worthy heir to their breakout single “Maps.” Yet fans of the caustic riot-blues that marked most of the YYY’s debut, "Fever to Tell," will be as disappointed with "It’s Blitz!" as they were with "Show Your Bones," as  the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are obviously not interested in revisiting their own past.

Instead, they’re making like Blondie, and seeing just how far they can stretch the boundaries of their sound without snapping.

-- Scott T. Sterling

Photo: Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Credit: EPA

Comments () | Archives (2)

nonsense to say that show your bones was a let down- noting like it. show you bones is one hell of an interesting and mature album.
i havent heard this new one yet , but show your bones was really awsome to me, particularly the blending of gentle acoustic driven tracks merging with moody electric ones.
ps the drummer in the yeah yeah yeahs is ABSOLUTELY amazing- he never gets a mention. that guys drumming is far more complecated than your average .
go guys(and girl)

Never said that "SYB" was a letdown, but eclectic (especially compared to their debut) and contentious, as the band themselves admit that they nearly broke up while making it.

And yes, "that guy" (AKA Brian Chase) is a fantastic drummer. I'm sure he appreciates the shout-out.


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