Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz! Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have shown a willingness to evolve and expand with each release. First came the garage blast of their early work, through to the gorgeous pop sensibility of Maps, their biggest hit, and onto the more reserved, mature rock of the last album, Show Your Bones. It’s Blitz!, their newest album, takes things in an entirely unexpected and surprisingly effective direction: dance-pop.

Opener Zero announces the change immediately, with synths kicking in before Karen O begins softly singing over it. While the synths definitely add an element that was not present on the YYYs previous releases, they don’t show their true value until the second song, Heads Will Roll. While many of the songs retain a rock beat, Heads Will Roll aims directly for your hips and feet with a discoesque dance beat. This song shows their new sound at it’s most exciting, with all the elements working together gloriously as the song shifts from Karen O’s lyrics “Off off with your head/ Dance dance till your dead/ Heads will roll, Heads will roll on the floor.” to softer parts, as if the band is laying in wait to charge back. Dull Life, another standout shows what part Nick’s guitar has in this new sound, with his parts being full on arena rock mode, simple huge sounding riffs punctuating the synth lines. Dull Life also shows Karen O’s lyrics at their devastating best as she talks about the “nightmare of your lies.” Second to last song, Hysteria, shows the band working in their Maps mode, emotionally naked and beautifully melodic. While this song is not as instantly catchy as Maps was, it does prove that Maps was not a fluke for this band. As bonus tracks there are four acoustic versions of songs like Soft Shock and Skeletons. These offer an insight into the beauty and emotional honesty that underscore these synth heavy songs.

Overall, this is a surprisingly consistent release from a band still finding themselves. Many longtime fans may be put off by the new direction, expecting more prominent guitars, but open minded fans will find a lot to love here. This is an album that sounds great blasting at a party, and that can go a long way towards forgiving some of the sometimes generic dance-pop sound. It’s exciting that these guys were not trapped by their garage roots, and it will be interesting to see where they go next.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!, reviewed by coelho on 2009-03-28T12:37:22-07:00 rating 3.7 out of 5

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