Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz!
Review By: Joe

Well, well, it's been three years, so it's time for another Yeah Yeah Yeahs album and thank goodness because I've been running out of music to listen to. Actually, it's not time yet. It's gonna be time in April, but, thanks to the Internet, the whole thing has been leaked. So I downloaded it and here is my illegal review.

HEY, buddy. One thing I want to note is that I fully intend to buy this album once it's released legal style. I appreciate these folks enough that I want to monetarily support them and I suggest you do the same instead of being a freeloading little shit like you usually are. If you're gonna freeload from anyone, freeload from your parents and go steal money from your momma's purse to buy this album. You get a little extra you can score some blow too, yeah? And if you're not into the band at least you got a new surface to do lines off of, am I right? Hey, this is our little secret, okay? You tell anybody you read this at this site, I break your kneecaps or, more likely, land you in jail. Don't believe me? DO YOU DENY THE POWER OF THIS WEBSITE???


The only bands out of all this disco-punk electro-revival monkey-shines whatever the hell it's called genre that has spawned about a million bands that I've ever put any stock in are this fine outfit here and The Rapture. Because, unlike the other bands, which seem to be generally satisfied with cranking out repetitious beats with some funkified riff laid over them, these people aren't totally locked into fitting this genre and frequently sound (at least to my uneducated ears) like, well, themselves. Of course, when last we left The Rapture, they had decided to do me wrong by going mad disco on my punk ass (I apologize for having just typed this). But, you know, it still felt pretty good, baby (and, actually, their song "No Sex For Ben" in GTA IV is one of the best things they've ever done so they sure shut me up). Well, add the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the revolt (this being the Revolt Against Joe's Punkish Leanings by Two Specific Bands Revolt that I assume you're all chronicling) because they've gone all synthy and dancey and disco-y on my punk ass with the new album, It's Blitz!

This is the album cover, not just some random exploding egg picture.

I wasn't sure how to feel about this at first. The thing is that when the previous album, Show Your Bones came out, I was in love with it like I'd never be in love with anything else ever again (for several months straight). But, as was pretty much inevitable, I played it out. I still like it and I'll still listen to tracks off of it, but the power it held over me has largely dissipated. I'm now seeing a lot of critics saying that with Show Your Bones the band was in a transition period, struggling to land upon what their sound should be and, in retrospect, I suppose I can understand that. The individual tracks definitely don't create a cohesive sound for the entire album; rather, it's more like they were just trying something different for each song. But, honestly, that's fine with me. At the very least, with an album like that you're unlikely to get bored.

However, at the same time, I feel like I'm sort of starting to get this whole cohesive sound thing a little bit. There's a way that a really great band can create an album in which they do something different on each song that separates it from the next while still maintaining some kind of overarching melodic theme. Forgive me if that sounds like bullshit because it is as I'm obviously in no way a professional authority on this subject, but I can put it in more regular bros like yous and mes-type speech.

See, I think the Pixies album Surfer Rosa is their best one. Each track is totally unique; "Break My Body" is nothing like "Where Is My Mind?" is nothing like "River Euphrates" and so on. EVEN SO!! There's something about each track that I believe defines it as belonging to that album. There's a sound, there's a feeling, there's a mood that pervades the whole CD and, frankly, it's not even something I feel like I can truly define or properly explain. Contrastingly, their follow-up album, Doolittle, while definitely the band's second best, veers off near the end with bizarre tracks like (the still enjoyable) "La La Love You" and (the particularly forgettable weird Native American-style anthem thingy) "Silver." Anyway, forgive me if this is something you've known all along about music, but I'm only just getting it and it's a major fucking epiphany for me, okay?! AND YOU'RE HERE WITH ME TO EXPERIENCE IT!! OH, IT JUST FEELS SO REEEEEAL.

So the Yeah Yeah Yeahs actually essentially had this cohesiveness with their first album, Fever to Tell, because that sucker is just a sloppy noisefest. The tracks from that album don't sound like you could just insert them into one of their other albums. The problem with Fever to Tell is that it might've had a well-defined sound, but it also had a bunch of time-wasting nonsense, such as the droning noise at the end of "No No No" and the totally throwaway final track and, well, really, going back to many of the tracks on that album now, they're okay, but a lot of them do seem to blend together into general noise and I don't really feel that bothered to go back and listen to them again.

So, see? This is the nugget! THE NUGGET OF GLORY AND TRUTH OF WHICH WE SEEK, GUYS!!! You can make an album that all fits together, but end up with a lot of tracks sounding samey and frivolous, like with Fever to Tell, or you can produce a record like Show Your Bones in which every song is a totally new experience, but then you risk falling into the territory of conjuring up some flat-out oddities (seriously, now that I think about it, what the hell's up with "Warrior??"). But the truly amazing band will strive to reach that perfect medium where everything is unique yet everything fits. And with It's Blitz!, I believe the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done it.

This is why I respect this band so much. They're popular, like actually mainstream popular, but they aren't content with any rehashing and they've avoided a possible pitfall of becoming creatively cornered and spitting out something that would totally alienate those of us who appreciate what they've done so far (if you want that, see Karen O's side project, Native Korean Rock and the Fishnets). Like I said, I wasn't sure how to feel about this album at first, but that's how it is with an awesome band like this. You can't go into an album expecting more of the same because that's not what you're going to get. You're going to get something fresh and interesting, but something you might have to warm up to. What I can say for certain is that when I first listened to this album I could already tell that I wasn't going to be able to hate it. I wasn't completely sure how I felt about it, but I knew, despite my preference for noisier rock-type music and less for dancey electrostuff, I was not going to be able to label the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as over the hill.

I'm won't deny the fact that Nick Zinner's hair makes me think he must be a bit of a cunt.

So this is what the album is. It's kick-ass dance music with nearly every track, though it's simultaneously solemn. There's a definite rocking out quality in each song, but they are all equally imbued with a kind of sadness. If you'll allow me to get really arty here, I think it's a blue album. When I listen to it and think about it I think of a warm, neon blue color rising up on a black background. And I don't even fucking know why because the album art certainly doesn't look like that. You see? Every track on It's Blitz! combined in my head to conjure up a single image, really, just two colors, but I feel that same mood and same color in every track. Because I'm not a music theorist, I've no idea if that's even a good thing or a real thing that's supposed to happen with music or just the early stages of Alzheimer's, but, as far as my ignorant perspective is concerned, I'm going to call it an achievement.

This is a gorgeous record. And while I'm still definitely partial to some tracks over others ("Soft Shock" and "Runaway" most especially), I don't believe there are any disposable songs here and I'm conscious of just how brilliantly it all flows together. It's Fever to Tell without all the chaff and Show Your Bones without all the questionable choices. It's poppy but it's sad, it's synth but it's rock, it's dance music but it's also not. So what is it? I guess it's, uh, well, I feel like a tool doing this, but I suppose there's really no better way to say this than It's Blitz!

It comes out April 14th (EDIT: As a result of the leak that a-holes like myself took advantage of, the album release has been moved up and is out digitally TODAY, March 10th, and will be out in US stores March 31st and worldwide April 6th). Do go buy it, okay?

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