Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cool It Down Album Review

If a band could capitalize on the embrace of indie pop and submission to nostalgia over the past decade, Yeah Yeah Yeahs would surely have reshaped their volatile Technicolor swagger to fit a tasteful T. But leave it to Karen O and co. only to explode out of their break with a cannon blast. Slow down the rhythm of the drum Show your bones opening “Gold Lion” to a mechanized crawl, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” the first single from their first new album in nine years, plunges the band into a cinematic fever dream, swapping the folk guitar strumming of the ancient song against the cosmic churning of synthesizers. O, joined by experimental pop prince Perfume Genius, fixes the apocalypse with a towering, provocative yet thoughtful sermon as she grapples with leaving a rotten world for her son.

Late in the song, O turns the camera on herself and hands her the microphone. “Mom, what did you do?” she laments as the doomsday clock ticks, striking midnight to the screaming fuzz of a barn-burning Nick Zinner guitar solo and thundering drum fills from Brian Chase. The trio throw their full weight behind the song’s futuristic arena rock, emerging from the bomb shelter to bet it all on one final lap. The message is simple but effective: if you are going to organize a comeback at the end of the world, throw the strongest hail water you can and pray.

Although the return to IMAX-sized synths and floor-filling beats will inevitably call to mind the vibrant electronic rock fantasy of 2009 It’s Blitz!, Cool it down now brings her own sentimental dance party to life by painting with a more closely coordinated color palette. Producer Dave Sitek, who has contributed to every YYY album since 2002 Machine EP, cut guitars to usher in heavier pianos, strings and bass they’ve never played with. Cool it down now‘s deep grooves usher in a patient new era, gracefully shedding the electrifying hunger of the band’s early days to make way for tempered joy.

Due either to the album’s truncated recording process – five airy months for a band accustomed to a lengthy demo process – or simply rosy nostalgia, Yeah Yeah Yeahs spends part of Cool it down nowthe sharpest moments of quoting and deconstructing their influences with refreshing candor. It’s shocking how “Burning” lifts the vocal melody of the Four Seasons’ “Beggin’.” But as the shock wears off, it’s impossible to ignore the sweetness of the track’s heartfelt charm, the clever inventions of the updated arrangement that swaddle the original’s 60s stomp into tight disco strings. , or the exhilarating moan of the rising voice of O.