The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ second album further refines the band’s anarchist sound. Just as their debut album, 2003’s Fever To Tell, modified and sculpted the approach and energy of their early EPs, here the band transcend beyond their power trio schematic and explore the sonic possibilities of the recording studio in greater depth. This attention to detail never derails into the artsy shtick that you might expect from a band that’s toured with the White Stripes and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and often sounds as if they’ve been personally tutored by Sonic Youth and PJ Harvey. Instead, the extra textures and expanded dynamics mean that a song such as “Fancy” transforms into a tug of war, its throbbing keyboard notes battling singer Karen O’s quavering screams until the band retreats to near silence, or that the static and sirens that set up “Phenomena” give way to brutal powerchords, a choir of swooning voodoo voices and an ingratiating chorus. Even their sweetest moment, “Cheated Hearts,” keeps an ominous tonal howl underpinning the girl group heartbreak of its melodic heart.
11 Songs, 39 Minutes
March 22, 2006
℗ 2006 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, under exclusive license in the United States to Interscope Records