Yeasayer prepare to take over Rome with Odd Blood

February 11, 2010 · Print This Article

Odd Blood, Yeasayer’s second album, finds the band expanding their sound, self-described as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel,” to include a penchant for 80’s tinged bombastic drums with a worldbeat flavor (think Peter Gabriel’s experimentations with percussion).

The sense of unease present in 2007’s All Hour Cymbals is mostly gone (“Mondegreen” represents the best example of its remaining presence on Odd Blood), replaced instead by a desire to dance and move on. Overall, Odd Blood is successful at combining these straight-up dance vibes into their more earthy sound of All Hour Cymbals, though to be sure, there are some moments that fall flat.

Yeasayer have a keen ear for throwing repetitive melodic synth lines, yeasayer_odd_blood_300dreamy chanting, and polyrhythmic drums that tend towards a thundering reverberation into a blender and ending up with delectably catchy, off-kilter feel-good songs. The show-stopping “Tightrope” from the 2009 compilation Dark Was the Night was one such track, and Yeasayer do it again with Odd Blood’s first single, “Ambling Alp.”

Then, there’s the swaggering “Rome,” which claims that, “There’s no mistakin’ it, Rome’s gonna be mine,” builds up to a beatific peak, then moves into an extended synth breakdown. Moments such as these are the pinnacle of Yeasayer’s sonic fusions.

On the flip side, the Tears for Fears-esque “I Remember” is pleasant enough for a minute or so, but continues on for about two minutes too long.

Yeasayer are willing to experiment and mash together influences that don’t necessarily fit together like puzzle pieces, resulting in a panglobal swatch of sounds. Some may claim this makes them sound muddy and muddled, but repeated listens of Odd Blood clear away some of the fog to reveal a core of well-crafted, psych pop songs with a worldbeat flare. Even with its slightly banal moments, it’s clear from the most promising and ecstatic moments on Odd Blood that Yeasayer remain a band to intently watch in 2010. –Cassie Traun, Editor

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