It's Blitz! review by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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  • Released: Mar 9, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.7 (38 votes)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz!
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Sound — 7
The New York City-based experimental rock trio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs produce a mating of Bjork's avant ice-caps with the disco glitter of Lady Ga Ga on the band's latest CD, It's Blitz from DGC/Interscope records. Produced by Nick Launay and TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show no apprehension about plunging into canyons of esoteric lava and cutting-edge techno-pop. The trio of vocalist Karen O, guitarist/keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase are accompanied by a handful of extras on the recording including saxophonist Stuart Bogie and trumpeter Eric Biondo on the electronica-wedged bindings of Zero and the flowery atmospherics of Hysteric, cellist Jane Scarpantoni and pianist Greg Kurstin on the trains of ebullient techno trimmings along Runaway, guitarist Imaad Wasif on the ambient knots bulking and receding along Little Shadow, and TV On The Radio's vocalist Tunde Adebimpe, tambourine player Kys Malone and Bogie once again on the vibrant psychedelic pixels that flutter through Dragon Queen. The album has an overall club music feel with rivers of glittery synths, wavy movements, and glossy guitar effects like in Heads Will Roll and Soft Shock. The synth-whipped magnetic fields that cluster along Skeletons are starched with sharp, staccato beats creating a whirlpool of ambient art-pop waves and ethereal fumes. The synth-pop wiring of Dull Life is looped in punk rock beats as Karen O's vocals knead into the granite-hard grooves. The band's handling of punk encrusted tunage matches that of The Sex Pistol, like they were made from the same cloth. The bluesy swagger of Shame And Fortune is seamed in rumbling beats, quaking guitar vibrations, and blustery synths. The music isn't super polished but neither is it raw. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs fit somewhere in between the two with the substance of The Sex Pistols and the discothque vibes of Lady Ga Ga.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics emote a sense of neediness and desires that are yearning to be satisfied. The lyrical themes center around reaching out for something in the distance like in Runaway with Karen O intoning, Like you to stay / Want you to be my prize. And sometimes the words express satisfaction like in Hysteric as she beams, You suddenly complete me. Karen's vocals alternate between sounding ghostly and digging into the rhythmic grooves like a crunching mallet. The words are tertiary to the music, which is made to open up club music to the realm of the esoteric and avant garde.

Overall Impression — 7
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs seem to be on a never-ending quest to find new ways to experiment with guitar-synth combinations. They move through a gamut of textures from punk rock to ethereal-pop formats drizzled with club beats. Their album takes elements that are a significant part of pop culture and puts their own crest on it. The band can produce drama in their music as assuredly as they do campy-disco, making both a part of the band's musical arsenal without showing any inconsistencies or fakeness about it.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Notmewtwoguitar
    I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone trying to sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    Wesseem
    Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    spot on.
    DrFuzz
    Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    That's also something I was trying to get at.
    CptRevell
    Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    Correct.
    CptRevell
    A 7 is actually better than average (5), so it would seem that the writer in fact does like the CD a little bit. All opinion, sir. I can see where the Yeah Yeah Yeah's have a sound of those two bands mixed, and myself, I like the Sex Pistols. Assuming I didn't know what the band's sound was, thinking about various mixes of those two act's sounds would help me to "hear" the sound in my head.
    DrFuzz
    You know, for someone who describes songs as "starched with sharp, staccato beats creating a whirlpool of ambient art-pop waves and ethereal fumes" I was kind of expecting a better comparison than "The Yeah Yeah Yeahs fit somewhere in between the two with the substance of The Sex Pistols and the discothque vibes of Lady Ga Ga" . This review of a very good album is left as an impenatrable mess of over-considered similie and lazy knowledge of the wider scene. Also there's no justification for why they were given sevens, what's wrong with just saying "it's good but it's not for me"? The first step to becoming a good music writer is to understand the context of music rather than confusing the reader with a cavalcade of nonsensical metaphors and similies. In short it would have been a good review if it didn't compare this band to two terrible acts.
    queen_may
    I think the lyrics and singing should have gotten a higher rating. This gave too much "already known" info. Yes, the album did include many other artists, but each artist did not have to be mentioned and bolded. And I think more description beyond "club beats" would have helped. The album definately grows on you. I've waited for Dull Life to be on album for a year! Runaway is another favorite. Zero is catchy, but I love Karen's performance. Now I just need to see these songs played live!
    TyrsFromAbove37 wrote: On a side note: This band is most certainly not pushing any musical genre into avant garde territory; for that arena of composition is reserved for those who have a much deeper understanding for musical creation on the whole, not indie hipsters looking to expand their fan base. (I mean, take the song "pin" for example....repetative as HELL lyrically and musically...nothing amazing in that sort of simplicity. Trying to see what isn't there makes it seem like you are only trying to validate them as being a legitimate band...) And as far as their progressive experimentation with guitar-synth combinations...what the hell else are they going to do? The only real instruments in the band are the two they are claimed to be so radical in composing for. The vocal stylings are easily replicated by anyone who isn't completely tone deaf and anyone who's spent time playing rock band could bust out the drum-line for their songs in a heartbeat. Don't glorify simplicity when their is no credit deserved... In short, you spent way to much time trying to use rhetoric to pump up a band that frankly doesn't deserve the recognition that you so zealously impose upon them. Cheers.
    Indie hipsters? Really? Labeling artists doesn't show much musical appreciation or thought. Don't discredit the vocals as what some else could do. Could you? Brian Chase should not be written off either, for his drumming is well thought out. Nick might utilize simple riffs, but I am never left asking for more. It fits. Understand the sound and motives of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
    Wesseem
    holy damn. talk about being in love with a thesaurus. pretty solid album but in absolutely no way is it like lady gaga. but yea. i guess CptRevell pretty much said it all.
    Blas3
    CptRevell wrote: Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph. Correct.
    +1 too...
    search49
    I was disappointed in this album. I love the first two unreservedly. This one lacks the brashness of the first two. It feels like the band is calming down and not having fun making this music, which is exactly what made their other work so compelling.
    ColonelHerro
    I just stopped reading. It was too messy. would have been a shame if I was looking at buying this album really. I've heard some of their stuff, and its pretty good though...
    Pure_Morning
    ebullient? That first paragraph seems a mess at first glance, because of the bolding. I have to say, Heads Will Roll is pretty damn catchy.
    scimitar_255
    Yeah this review wasn't that well thought out... that and I'm pretty upset that you compared the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to LADY GA GA. That out of the way, I love this album, I think it's their most consistently good album too date.
    Fearghal
    What a shit review, theres a sentence that lasts 9 lines for jesus' sake
    bowdowntomono
    Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    Agreed.
    stevenpollock
    cam6389 wrote: allfooie wrote: zero is an awesome song...that is all. Yeah. have to agree with that. The rest of the album was fairly disappointing. Good thing I didn't buy it.
    You have to at least buy Dull Life.
    cam6389
    allfooie wrote: zero is an awesome song...that is all.
    Yeah. have to agree with that. The rest of the album was fairly disappointing. Good thing I didn't buy it.
    s6k
    this review is an abomination of the english language
    stevenpollock
    I've grown to appreciate this album very much. Song-writing wise this is definitely the trio's best. The overall sound and atmosphere of the album has definitely shifted from the old, but I feel they've found what they're best writing in. And whatever genre, sub-genre, or whatever.. a good song is a good song. A good album is a good album. This is a good album. Not saying I don't miss the garage-esque, sheer rawness of the first two albums, but if they gave me another one of those, it would just be another YYY's album.
    -XM-
    Best YYY CD to date imo, I think they really found themselves... but that's just me
    Shuk
    This album's a little too produced and '80s-ish for my tastes. On its own merit, its good, but I miss the energetic, raw, and stripped down sound of the first album.
    TyrsFromAbove37
    Notmewtwoguitar wrote: I just hate the way this is written. The whole review comes across as someone tryingto sound intelligent, and obviously over-doing it. I get a bit tired of reading ridiculous ramblings, carefully constructed with a dictionary and a thesaurus to hand; especially in the first paragraph.
    Excellent statement sir. On a side note: This band is most certainly not pushing any musical genre into avant garde territory; for that arena of composition is reserved for those who have a much deeper understanding for musical creation on the whole, not indie hipsters looking to expand their fan base. (I mean, take the song "pin" for example....repetative as HELL lyrically and musically...nothing amazing in that sort of simplicity. Trying to see what isn't there makes it seem like you are only trying to validate them as being a legitimate band...) And as far as their progressive experimentation with guitar-synth combinations...what the hell else are they going to do? The only real instruments in the band are the two they are claimed to be so radical in composing for. The vocal stylings are easily replicated by anyone who isn't completely tone deaf and anyone who's spent time playing rock band could bust out the drum-line for their songs in a heartbeat. Don't glorify simplicity when their is no credit deserved... In short, you spent way to much time trying to use rhetoric to pump up a band that frankly doesn't deserve the recognition that you so zealously impose upon them. Cheers.