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Album Review: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘It’s Blitz!’

 

By P.J. Decoteau / Staff Writer

Karen O, in all of her ripped one-piece leotard sexiness, has apparently been listening to a good amount of early 80’s new-wave and Prince. Considering that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs gained notoriety for their back-to-basics rock formula (one guitarist, one drummer, and a crazy-ass singer) their leap into new sounds and synthesizers has been setting their fan base abuzz with worries of jumping the shark. After a few run-throughs with their new album, It’s Blitz!, I can officially declare the concerns to be legitimate. 

 

2006’s Show Your Bones, the band’s second release, softened the impact of their debut’s sharp edges and was clearly aiming for a more commercial appeal. Karen O’s distinct shriek and overflowing sex appeal seemed muted, as did guitarist Nick Zinner’s ragged riffs. Put simply, it just felt too put together compared with the debut’s about-to-fall-apart aesthetic that made the band so enthralling to begin with. 

After 2007’s EP Is Is it seemed as though the band were rearing back to let out another full album of dirty rockers, but they apparently had other plans. It’s Blitz! is heavy on the synths and light on anything that would remind listeners that this is, in fact, the same band that gave us “Black Tongue” and “Y Control”. I get it, change and moving forward and all that, but why mess with something so good? 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad album. Scattered throughout are some enjoyable, dance-ready tunes (highlights “Heads Will Roll” and “Dragon Queen”) and some songs that, with a simple shift in production values, could bring back some of that missing edge (“Dull Life” and “Shame and Fortune”). The real problem is that the band doesn’t seem to be having any fun anymore, and that tedium shows through on most of the album’s ten tracks. Opener and first single “Zero” represents the entire disc perfectly – It’s danceable but a bit monotonous and will leave you wanting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs that were dirty, sexy, loud and fun.