Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Show Your Bones(Interscope)

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5

Expectations are funny. For example, most everyone would agree that Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ second album is facing high ones—but for what exactly? To replicate the moderate commercial success of Fever to Tell, their debut? Or to improve on the trio’s music?

Don’t expect either set of expectations to be clearly met on Show Your Bones. What’s interesting is that the song that pushed Fever to Tell into the spotlight, “Maps,” was a musical anomaly—YYYs made their name via more-roaring songs, often accompanied onstage by Karen O chucking Rolling Rock into screaming audiences (something generally accepted as a hallmark of a “wild live show”). It should surprise no one that those tunes (and such an act) have a firm expiry date. Proof are the songs on Show Your Bones that really stick: Not the dreary, simplistic rockers clogging the album’s first half, but rather ones like “Dudley,” which might be the coolest ’80s-sounding tune an NYC band has made since the ’80s, with its nursery-rhyme vocal melody. “The Sweets,” a spare, softly clattering blues that charges to a satisfying cacophony, and the warm, nicely melodramatic “Warriors” are even more remarkable. Each song has an air of rock & roll romanticism, but also an unforced charm, as if they came by their particular merits accidentally. In a similar way, it’s beginning to look like what first got Yeah Yeah Yeahs noticed isn’t at all what they do best.—Mike Wolf