REVIEW: Yeasayer – “Fragrant World”

[August 28th 2012 – Secretly Canadian // Find it at: iTunes | Insound]


It’s a little surprising that Yeasayer became one of the only bands to come out of Brooklyn in the last 15 years that did not wind up somewhere on Pitchfork’s recently published “People’s List” of albums. Despite the group’s grasp of so many different musical styles, and ability to create lush sonic landscapes blending high falsetto vocals with groove-tastic fretless bass, they seem to be best at just nailing a few singles with each release, rather than crafting a unified vision of an album. But it’s fun to try and find an overarching connection anyways. Looking at the group’s discography as a whole, the easiest way to describe their albums is as follows: All Hour Cymbalsis the concert, Odd Blood is the after party, and Fragrant World is the after-after party. The latest effort is a little slower moving, darker and more intimate. On Fragrant World, Yeasayer demonstrate a keen focus on pacing that not only makes for some cool fades and swells, but also creates a delicious sense of delayed satisfaction. Beats and synths space-out enough to warrant an expedition by NASA, holding things down between hook-filled choruses on “Longevity” and “Demon Road” while “Henrietta” kicks off with two chaotic minutes before devolving into something you might hear at a World War II memorial service. “The Devil And The Deed” and “Reagan’s Skeleton” prove disco is, in fact, not dead… but it’s possible its prolonged coma gave it some kind of personality disorder.

Download: “Longevity”, “Reagan’s Skeleton”

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