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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

5.1

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz!

Close your eyes. Imagine this album wasn't created by a band called the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Imagine it was made by another band. Imagine that band was called The Tugboats. The Tugboats (fondly known as The Tuggers) didn't create an album called Fever To Tell, one of the most fuckworthy albums of the past 400 years. The Tuggers have, however, made an album called It's Blitz and, although the cute pop edges and occasional grittier rock moments are interesting, it's nothing remarkable.

Ok, let's take a step back. Yeah Yeah Yeahs' debut record, Fever To Tell, was one of the most anticipated albums EVER. The band had toured with The Strokes, Nirvana and The Beatles before it was even released. Teenagers were pre-selling their love making juices (sperm, eggs, cheap vodka) to get their hands on a copy. And then, guess what? It actually delivered. It was a near-perfect slice of smash-your-face garage punk rock, perfectly polarized by it's more tender side (Two simple words: Maps).

Second time around and once again there was a whole lot of what the 'industry' calls 'anticipation'. The group's follow-up record, Show Your Bones, was covered with a shiny gloss, sparkling clean and laced with pop sensibility. Urgh. It was far removed from Fever To Tell and for people like me who were still losing several kilos of musical man juice over their debut even though it was released 25 years prior, the record was a big letdown. Critics, however, disagreed with me and several trees were slaughtered in the interest of applauding the group's 'inventive initiative'.

And now the group have once again morphed their style, creating an album based around their newly discovered synth-based rock influences. It's Blitz sees them move even further away from their garage birthplace, lured towards the blinding glow of disco pop. While this album sounds a lot less 'plastic' than Show Your Bones it is still missing the spitting of attitude and genuine rawness that once made them such an exciting group. Karen O still packs enough charisma into every line to carry any song, however, she on too many occasions on this record she sounds like she is merely going through the motions. A group that was once unpredictable, even when you were listening to a familiar song on record for the umpteenth time, has now become a paint-by-numbers kind of band.

And now, the group have once again morphed their style and created an album based around their new synth-based rock influences, seeing them move even further away from their garage birthplace, lured towards the blinding glow of disco pop. While this album sounds a lot less 'plastic' than Show Your Bones it is still missing the spitting of attitude and genuine rawness that once made them such an exciting group. Karen O still packs enough charisma into every line to carry any song, however, she also sounds too much like she is merely going through the motions. A group that was once unpredictable, even when you were listening to a familiar song for the umpteenth time, has now become a paint-by-numbers kind of band.

There are still plenty of above average moments on It's Blitz, most notably the more stripped back, ballad numbers. Skeletons is the clear album highlight, with Ms O's haunting vocals intertwining nicely with the minimal soundscape. It also is good for reminding you that you haven't listened to Maps in a while. The record closer Little Shadow is also a standout moment, with the relatively simple composition (which is, incidentally, not too dissimilar to that of Skeletons) giving the vocals some real space to move. Runaway is probably the most instantly appealing, genuine pop moment on the album, yet it also highlights the group's new-found reliance on familiarity and structure this time around with the theatrical, semi-operatic buildup feeling very comfortable.

While far from being a complete disaster, the majority of It's Blitz is fairly uneventful and instantly forgettable. I don't think anybody should be noting The Tugboats as the 'next big thing' just yet.

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

 

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Comments

saimagery

FUCKING THANKYOU!

Not only for this, but also for Show Your Bones.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

snap?

1 decade ago

ivan

It's Shiz!

1 decade ago

Aaaaaaaaaron

Wrong.

1 decade ago

troyox

Im actually scared to listen to this, especially because maps is one of my fav songs ever, it even makes me cry like a girl with a skinned knee. Zero is just crapola too.

1 decade ago

Remmy

Zero is ok, but I think the 80s Keyboard thing is getting old real fast. Its a shame this band got kinda played out before they got a chance to take over the world. It sums up the noughties realy.

Heaps of small bands with good ideas that never realy followed through.

Bring on 2010 i say!

1 decade ago

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