Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Thu Mar 19 2009
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
If It's Blitz! is any indication, Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase—the singer, multi-instrumentalist and drummer, respectively, who make up Yeah Yeah Yeahs—seem intent on no longer being a trio. The band's chosen fourth "member"? Producer Dave Sitek, armed with steroid-fed synthesizers. For the New York group's third full-length, Sitek (along with mixer Nick Launay) has paved a two-way street. Like the most recent record from Sitek's day job, TV on the Radio, It's Blitz! is slick and sturdy while maintaining a scattershot element.
The first two tracks, "Zero" and "Heads Will Roll," are full-on dance blasts, with an electronic intensity not previously seen from YYYs. On the latter, indie-rock Catwoman incarnate Karen O commands: "Dance till you're dead?/?Heads will roll on the floor." Next, "Soft Shock" ushers you out of the party for a steady, pulsating drive home.
The record's dance bent pops up in a few more places, like the Electric Slide--ready "Dragon Queen." But It's Blitz! isn't about foolish fun: The tie that binds is the relatively pessimistic nature of many of the lyrics. (Try these titles on for size: "Skeletons," "Dull Life," "Shame and Fortune.") Complaining about fame after it hits is a tremendous clich, but it's hard to remember the last time a band so thoroughly condemned life in the spotlight while making a record so well suited for it.