Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz! 

Three albums into their career, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs can proudly boast no repeats. Strangely, each stylistic shift has suggested a different band: loud, dirty garage rockers (Fever to Tell), electro-rock noisemakers (Show Your Bones) and now, a disco-pop studio outfit. As the group's cleanest album to date—fittingly co-produced by TV on the Radio's David Sitek—It's Blitz! crisply presents each stuttering synthesizer, guitar trill, hiccupped drumbeat, croon, moan and yelp.

Forget Fever to Tell's standout "Maps," because It's Blitz! contains the group's most gorgeous pop gestures to date. "Skeletons" works a slow burn with synthesized Celtic tweets, marching drum flare-ups and Karen O's soaring calls, while "Hysteric" masterfully rides a low-end buzzing guitar, sparkling, wheezing electronics and O's lullaby vocal incantations.

One of the major problems with It's Blitz!, however, is the way its fluttering beats and warm melodies can slink right by without leaving an indelible impression. This is best evinced in the noisy electronics of "Shame and Fortune" and the dance-floor mope of "Dragon Queen," two instantly forgettable tunes.

Although Nick Zinner's expressive guitar wails and Brian Chase's monstrous drum crashes are toned down, it is in pursuit of a singular sound. For instance, opener "Zero" focuses on a stuttering blast of synthesizer rock, while "Runaway" is carried by music-box piano and dramatic strings.

Rather than three magnetic entities, the group has congealed into a true unit whose collective voice somehow grows louder through controlled, focused maturity.

More by Michael Petitti


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