Review: Yeasayer – Odd Blood
The album opens with distorted vocals on what sounds like a march of a thousand robots that have traveled back in time from the year 2080 to destroy the earth as we know it. The first question that may come to mind is, “Is this really the same Yeasayer?” After the dark and dirty intro, a mix of saxophones and light piano lead us into a more familiar sounding “Ambling Alp”, the first single on the album. Chris Keating sings enthusiastic lyrics with confidence and optimism accompanied by Animal Collective-esque keyboards and drum beats. “Love Me Girl” opens with an almost trance like feel to it, and later progresses into what could be mistaken for a verse off of FutureSex/LoveSounds as Keating unleashes his inner Justin. “I Remember” sends us off on a journey into some sort of magical land, where cheesy synthesizers and falsetto are a way of life, and everyone walks alongside one another holding hands and singing. “Strange Reunions” is pretty much the only song on the album that touches on anything reminiscent of All Hours Cymbals, complete with Yeasayer’s psychedelic and middle-eastern origins and what sounds like sitar (or guitar meant to sound like sitar). The very next track, however, is right back on track with the rest of the album. “Mondegreen” is an irrestible foot mover led by a tight horn section, ferocious handclaps and Keating’s frantic vocals.
Compared to All Hours Cymbals, the album’s lyrical and musical content is much lighter. Many of the previous intertwining layers have been shaved down to a simpler, more straightforward sound and the lyrics have become much less worrisome for the future, with more practical talk of both loss and need of love. This album, although sometimes leaning towards being close to a dance album, has also strong reflections of the Flaming Lips, around the Yoshimi era. Odd Blood’s structure is more constant than All Hours Cymbals, with most of its songs running around or under four minutes rather than some sprawling to over five and others as short as one minute in length. For those who loved All Hours Cymbals, there is a possibility that you may be quite disappointed with the new material, as the style and feeling has changed completely. However, if you are open to change and you like to dance, you will surely enjoy this gem. - Amelia Robitaille
Key Tracks: “Madder Red”, “O.N.E.”, “Mondegreen” and “Ambling Alp”