Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yeasayer, Odd Blood - 8.0

Yeasayer, who burst onto the music scene in early 2007, was poised to take indie music by storm. Now three years removed from the triumph of their debut album All Hour Cymbals, they are at it again, but with a surprisingly psychedelic twist. Odd Blood the second full length album by this brooklyn band, self classified as "Experimental" seems to almost entirely desert the earthy, world pop tones of their original success, in favor of a clean, synthy pop sound. But why? Its clear that they are outside their comfort zone, but in the end I think it only just works out in their favor.

Odd Blood comes out of gate with a running start with the somewhat mysterious, but solid opening song of "The Children". It then quickly grabs your attention with the two radio friendly, ear pleasing, (and probably the most enjoyable) tracks of "Ambling Alp" and "Madder Red". Accompanied by the noises of cracking whips, indescribable drones, and water splashing, these songs possess the originality that is lacking from many generic 2000's pop bands. "I remember" is a light, dreamy, feel good track with an uplifting beat. Another notable song "O.N.E" follows a few songs later with pleasant vocals, and background synths that can't help but make you think of a sunny tropical island.

The difficulties begin around the halfway marker in this record. The songs start to become a little sloppy and lack the passion of the first half. The redeeming qualities of the last part of the record, are the songs backtrack to the unrefined sound that made Yeasayer great, yet they seem unexecuted and rather dry. These flaws do hurt the album but overall don't take away from the originality of the record as a whole.

There are many upsides to the somewhat new sound of Yeasayer. It definitely appeals to more people then their previous sound, and if they can find the perfect balance of world beat, and ear pleasing psychedelic pop, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. It is still an enjoyable album in its entirety, and I would encourage you to buy it, and await more to come from this exceptional quintet.

- A.W.

Purchase Album: Amazon, iTunes, Sonic Boom

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