Thursday, May 13, 2010

Will Hermes on Yeasayer

"Yeasayer are pioneers of a scene that refuses to choose between a sense of experimental adventure and pure pop pleasure. … On their 2007 debut, they were freak-folkies with a knack for creating hot Eastern-flavored grooves. … On their follow-up, they dive deeper into electronics and big Eighties beats (literally: They hired Peter Gabriel's old drummer). The result is simulaneously stranger and poppier, more celebratory and more serious. 'The Children' opens with clattering beats, synth heaves and processed vocals that crossbreed T-Pain with the Residents — yet at the core it's a gentle ballad about vigilant, and potentially vengeful, kids. 'Ambling Alp' is a hugely catchy anthem framed as a father-to-son pep talk, dated by references to foes of prizefighter Joe Louis; its scrumptious reggae-pop chorus and falsetto bridge unspool amid splashing water and ricocheting ray guns. The most killing jam is 'O.N.E.,' a dubby blast of samba-spiked funk that finds singer Chris Keating wrestling with a love jones like a schizo Daryl Hall; it cries out for a dozen remixes. It's all held together with thundering, radio-ready drums" ("Reviews: Music: Yeasayer's Great Leap Forward," Rolling Stone, 2/18/10, p. 58).


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