Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones (Interscope, 2006)
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs first album Fever to Tell was released way back in the dark ages of 2003. Its hit single "Maps" I recall may have been played once or twice on MTV. And then last year the guitar part from it was wantonly pilfered by the TIs that wrote that one Kelly Clarkson song. So it's likely you're at least somewhat familiar with their work.
Way to kick the album off with the big single, U2-style, even if this is no "Maps." Though I suppose it is more "Maps" than the rest of Fever to Tell, which I recall being more punkish.
I read somewhere that the guy that produced this has a background in hip-hop. Most of this doesn't sound especially hip-hop-ish, except when they're obviously trying to, but I do rather enjoy the production on this. It's got a definite art rock-ish vibe to it, but it's not all muddled-sounding like a lot of so-called indie music.
Also, there are a million excellent things going on with the guitar and the drums here. I've only heard this maybe five times, and I'm still picking up new shit everytime I listen to it. This might be in my rotation for a minute.
The chorus to this borrows from the De La Soul (I think) line, "I'm something like a phenomenon," though I wonder if they might actually be referring to that one LL Cool J song. There's even some rather funky-ish drum breaks here.
If there's an issue here, and of course there is, it's that you hardly ever know what Karen O is singing about or what that has to do with the song's title or anything. And you have to figure it's because she's not really singing about shit. She is kinda hot though.
Of all the songs on this album, I'd guess this one probably has the best chance at becoming a big hit. It's almost conventional-sounding, and it rocks.
And actually, most of the songs here are more conventional sounding - "Maps"-ish, if you will - than most of the songs on the first album. This one works a similar guitar crescendo thingy.
More country-ish, or rockabilly, even. I like the verses more than the chorus though.
A stab at folk-rock, or something. Not bad, but not great either, and it kinda sticks out in that it doesn't rock as much as the rest of these songs.
Is this one of those Bob Seger-style, complaining about the trials of being a professional rock musician songs? Either way, this might be Karen O's best performance on here vocally.
Suitably faux epic-sounding for the last song on the album, even if I have no idea what it's about. Let me guess: Something's coming to an end?
COMMENTS: I doubt this one will go down as the landmark album (among a few random white people on the Internet) that was Fever to Tell, but I actually enjoyed this just as much, if not a bit more. In that sense, I'd compare it to the Strokes' Room on Fire. Favorably, of course.
BEST TRACKS: "Gold Lion" "Phenomena" "Cheated Hearts"