Yeasayer – Odd Blood (EMI) 08/02/2010

February 9, 2010 by  

Fans of Yeasayer certainly aren’t in for any drastic surprises upon first hearing of their new record ‘Odd Blood.’ The album is a continuation of their experimental indie art-rock sound that was so carefully cultivated with their first record ‘All Hour Cymbals,’ and despite a few moments of unashamed pop-chart majesty the band have built upon their reputation as innovators at the forefront of the experimental indie movement.

The album opens with ‘The Children,’ which is a freakish amalgam of African drum beats and heavily layered synth topped off with an heavily distorted vocal, in fact distorted to the extent where the lyric is indecipherable for all intensive purposes. At this stage it may seem the band have taken their experimentation to new levels, but any chances of losing mainstream pop sensibility are completely reversed with the second track ‘Ambling Alp.’ It is a song full of catchy guitar and synth hooks and has a truly hummable chorus, and certainly has the potential to exceed what was achieved on All Hour Cymbals.

Other tracks continue in much the same vein, ‘Madder Red’ draws on the worldly influences of an African gospel choir sound on its intro, before launching into a verse that could’ve easily been taken directly from a Duran Duran record at their peak, in terms of heavy emotional lyrics and its all encompassing layered snyth effect. ‘Strange reunions’ matches ‘The Children’ for sheer dirty electro-psychedelia, and creates a ‘White Album goes 80’s’ effect, while the album’s closer ‘Grizelda’ is another three minute ball of melancholy joyfulness.

Even at this very early stage, ‘Odd Blood’ is being tipped by many as an early contender for album of the year. There is a lot of competition, but they have forged on into the void of mainstream experimental-indie being created by the likes of MGMT and Vampire Weekend, and if tracks like ‘Ambling Alp’ get the airplay they deserve there is no reason Yeasayer cannot continue to enhance their still growing reputation.

[rating:4]


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