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Fever to Tell

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2003

This album is hot.  Hot in every sense of the word, both stylistically and musically.  And most of that heat is provided by none other than lead singer Karen O, who playfully and suggestively purrs, hisses, howls, and screams throughout the vast majority of the album.  Fever to Tell has a style all it's own, a style that could best be described as raw, punky, decadent, and hip.  In other words, it's a lot of fun to listen to, and certain brings back a lot of memories of my first year in San Francisco.  It's like a soundtrack for a vast urban playground fully of beautiful hipster girls, dive bars, house parties, etc.  It reminds me of "the chase" for lack of a better term.

Anyway, back to the music, for only being a 3 piece band, they manage to pack quite a punch in most of their songs.  That's largely due to Nick Zinner's thick, down-tuned guitar that really give many of the tunes added muscle.  There's a spastic carnal energy to many of these songs, provided mostly by Karen O's spunky delivery.  The climax (pun intended) of the album comes (no pun intended) in the 1-2 punch of "Tick" and "Black Tongue" when Karen O delivers 2 of her most suggestive vocal antics of the entire album.  She certainly sounded like she had fun recording those songs, as her sexually-charged energy is palpable.  But for all the vocal antics and decadence that pervades the album, there is one song that stands out from the pack which has very little in common with the sound of the rest of the album.  And that song, of course, would be "Maps" which is a beautifully yearning, poignant, and vulnerable ballad.  That said, it still sounds raw, due to the band's sound, but that only seems to amplify it's effect.  It sounds like a raw beautiful nerve exposed, or an open wound.  It's incredibly beautiful, and easily the best song on an album that is largely quite spunky and fun as a whole.

And at the end of the day, that's the best word to describe this album: fun.  In my book it's also one of the coolest (or as they say now "hippest") albums stylistically of the 2000s.  Certainly captures a certain time, place, feeling for yours truly.

Ah to be young again.

9.0

Show Your Bones

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2006

A much more subdued/reserved sound sported here.  It's a more modest, vulnerable vibe which is affecting at times, but one misses the spunk and brashness of FTT...pretty good for what they're trying to go for, but they could have done better.

8.1

Is Is (EP)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2007

Just a 5 track EP, but it's noteworthy because it kind of recaptures the rawness of FTT to a degree.  It's a little less spunky and edgy than that album, but it's a generally more up-tempo, somewhat more brooding affair than the rather subdued SYOB.  Bascially they're back to rocking hard and abrasively again, so this is pretty good stuff overall.  If you prefer quality over quantity (which I generally do) then this is better than SYOB.

8.1

It's Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2009

Hard to get me onboard for a glam/dance alterna-pop album…it really is…but "Off With Head" is admittedly pretty catchy…"Skeletons" captures the vibe of "Maps" better than anything they had tried to date…miss the rawness and edge of their old stuff…this is too clean and glittery for my tastes.

7.4

Mosquito

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2013

The album starts out on a high note with "Sacrilege" but things quickly peter out from there.  There's a couple of other pretty good songs on here, but for the most part, the vast majority of Mosquito is pretty underwhelming.  They sound like they're just going through the motions here...if the band sounds uninterested or uninspired in what they're doing, then chances are it's not really worth your time.  Such is the case with "Mosquito" unfortunately.

7.1

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