Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

Today’s album came out in 2009 from NYC.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Yeah+Yeah+Yeahs+It+s+Blitz/67632381

Read about the album: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Blitz!

Fun Facts:
For the movie Jackass 2, Karen O collaborated with electronic artist Peaches and Johnny Knoxville to record a track entitled “Backass”; for Jackass 3D,

In 2011, Karen O provided vocals for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ cover of “Immigrant Song” on the soundtrack for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Ali:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

Preconceptions: I know this band. Only because I have seen them in a documentary and also have sung that song on Rockband that goes “uhhhhhhhhhhwayyyyyy…. bey blow blow blow bla bloo blee blue”. I like singing it to piss off people… like Seth. Seth hates the Yeah Yeah Yeahs more than he hates Republicans.
I thought that I had seen them featured in a segment of a documentary that I was watching about someone but that’s apparently not the case. I know that is incredibly vague, but I have watched so many documentaries they have all swirled around in my head like a Doug Benson movie title game.
I know that they have that Rockband song, and that song that Glee mashed with Thriller for a football sequence.

Mood: Meh. Feeling a little forgotten today. It’s completely in my head and I know that, but it’s still there… Nagging.

After Listening: I have heard a couple of these songs. I don’t actually hate this album as much as I thought I was going to. A lot of the songs sound like they could have been lost in the annals of “eighties-fantasy-movies forgotten soundtracks”. If you had told me that any of these songs were in the Neverending Story, I would totally believe you (especially Runaway.I felt like I was stuck in a k-hole during that song.) I’m guessing they were going for the eighties feel with the synth, and being a fan of that genre of music, I lapped it up like it was spilled absinthe.

Favorite track/tracks:
Zero – This song reminded me of Blondie and made me hope that the entire album was like this song.
Heads Will Roll – I actually really like this better than the Glee mashup… and I REALLY liked the Glee mashup.
Dull Life – If this hasn’t been in a Joss Whedon show, his team is slacking. It sounds exactly like something that would happen during a Buffy training montage, an Angel timewarp montage, or at the end of a Dollhouse episode.

Least favorite track/tracks:
Runaway – … come on… really? It’s only a five minute song? How did I get all of my work done for the day then?

Overall (1-5 stars):  3.5

Josh:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!: 3.5 stars

Precon: My curiosity. I know that song Maps because my friend’s girlfriend sings it every time we play Rock Band. I think I looked it up one day because I wanted to find out why Karen O loved maps so much (supposedly an acronym for “My Angus Please Stay” about her old boyfriend Angus who’s in some other band) and came across a live version that was really good, so that piqued my curiosity about the band. Karen also sings the chorus on Strange Enough, my favorite song from the Nasa super album, so after I heard that I was curious as a mofo.

Favorite Track: Zero
Least Favorite: Runaway. A little too long.

Oh…I think I might have heard Heads Will Roll.
Skeletons could use more dynamism. It builds and builds but doesn’t go anywhere. Plus it kills momentum in the four spot. It should be either the first or the last track.
The intermittent singing along to the guitar melody on Dull Life was interesting and a good attention grabber.
Serious bass on Shame and Fortune.
Dancey with a lot of 80’s synth that’s really turned up on some tracks. Good melodies too and the production is pretty slick. They’re like MGMT with a girl. Good or bad depending on how much you like Karen O. I like her for the most part. A successful curiosity pick, makes me want to go back and see what their older stuff is like.

Magic the Gathering Card: Sivitri Scarzam

Marissa:

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – It’s Blitz

Pre-Conceived-Heard the singles, and saw “Heads Will Roll” on the track list, and I like that song, so I’m excited, but I’ve never heard an entire one of their albums, which is weird to me when I think about it.  I think this is one of the ones I was looking forward to most this season.  I hope that doesn’t mean my expectations are too high.

As Listening:
Something pleasingly 80s but not retro-feeling about the first two tracks at least.  Also, if you don’t want to throw a dance party by the time the drums kick in on “Heads Will Roll” I worry about how much you’re able to enjoy life.

Listening to “Skeletons”, I feel like this should have been on the soundtrack to DRIVE.  If I had listened to this album when it first came out, I would have never had that reference.

Immediate reaction to “Dull Life” it sounds like the offspring that Muse and Modest Mouse would have produced if Pat Benetar had approached them and said “hey fellas, we should collaborate”. And seriously, who says “no” to Pat Benetar?

“Runaway” is annoying.  It sounds like a discarded My Chemical Romance song

Little Shadow is the first track on the album where I feel like Karen’s voice is really the focal point.  I like it.

After Listening:  Usually, I’m a lyrics girl, but I feel like the lyrics on this album are clearly secondary in nature to the sound of each song.  I like the distinction of each track and even though there doesn’t seem to be a distinguishing, signature sound on this album, each song could stand on its own.  Perhaps that’s a result of the new rules of music in which everything needs to be a potential single, but I didn’t mind it here.  I could listen to “Heads Will Roll” at least five times in a row without getting tired of it, more if I was cleaning my house and dancing to it.  Not the best album we’ve listened to, perhaps not even the best of the group, but it makes me curious enough to check out the other ones.

Favorite tracks: Heads Will Roll/Dull Life
Least Favorite: Runaway

Overall: 3.7

Mike:

Preconceived Notions:  This is not my pick but… in my desperate quest to find American rock in the 2000’s I had stumbled upon the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s years ago.  Their 1st album Fever to Tell is a solid straight forward rock record, I had a lot of hope for them to be their own sort of rock successor in the same way (not the same music style) as a Clutch.   So I finally broke down and bought It’s Blitz when it was released a few years back because I felt the momentum the band was building was going to pay off in something truly special.  Blitz is well….different than I was expecting and I would say even diehard fans of the group were thrown a bit of a curve.  Does this make the effort a failure?  Let’s give it another listen…

After Listening: The polish on this record is probably what jumps out in contrast to the band’s earlier efforts.  It’s a seguway into an odd sort of Blondie tribute band, on the one hand I give the band a lot of credit for publically stating that they always want to make different records than previous efforts.  On the other hand –it’s pretty obvious for this particular formula they’re not quite competent enough to make it completely their own.  I actually like Karen’s vocals on the album, and there are moments where the dance/rock fusion elements do work, but as a whole the album loses steam as it rolls on.  If the production were slick, but the energy was still there-as it is in the 1st few tracks, than we could start talking about this being a solid addition to their musical catalogue, but eventually we get tracks that amount to little more than vocals – with zero musical investment.

Favorite Tracks: “Heads will Roll” – embracing this album for what it is, this track is a nice effort.  It’s got a slick dance feel, and although the keys feel like a myriad of other club songs – it works here along a vaguely Victorian theme. Guillotine images for a dance hall.
“Dull Life” – The track actually opens with an arpeggio similar to MGMT’s “Time to Pretend”, and then actually features a slightly stripped down section reminiscent of some of their earlier stuff.

Least Favorite: Runaway – This is not to punish the piano or slower pace (Skeltons employs the formula compently), but rather to point out the way the album sort of veers of track towards the end and relies on a strict formula devoid of energy, while leaning on the vocals to do the lifting.  On this track the vocals can salvage a rather sappy and overindulgent background.

Overall: 3.23 The Y’s have their moments on this record where you get what they’re trying to do.  In a way this is a good thing, that it’s not Fever to Tell 3, bands can become a slave to their entrapments.  But this break, this seems a little forced  – almost a reactionary response to not wanting to be categorized they went straight off and produced a very categorical album.  Which is to say this record didn’t feel like the Yeah’s-not because it didn’t mimic their earlier efforts, but because it too closely mimics someone else’s (Blondie).  The Yeah’s have plenty of time to rewrite their musical legacy, but at this point their trajectory to me seems to be evening out to just another band in a long line of “eh”.

For kicks…the guitarist in this group has his own metal/noise band  Head Wound City…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkPKLQgG970

Seth:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

Precon: I don’t get the universal adoration of this band. I hate my life a little more everytime that crappy Maps song is played anywhere in the universe.

After: About what I’d expected. I won’t be breaking out any Favorites from these tracks.

Overall: Starting with Zero, It’s Blitz brazenly recreates the sound and experience of a sad late 80s Debby Harry solo album, but with less competent synths and much worse singing. Karen O has a stupid name and an annoying voice that makes me glad all these dudes in her songs keep dumping her. I almost want to date her for the chance of dumping her on her birthday. Or Valentines Day. Ideally, Karen O would have been born on February 14th. Skeletons was obviously written in a mirror after getting out of the shower. The full two minutes of meandering strings in Runaway is meant to give us a break from that raccoon-in-a-fanbelt noise she calls a voice, but it only makes things worse. In the last 10 days I the head gasket went on my car, my microwave caught fire, my hot water went out, and this pick came up. The album is the 2nd worse thing that happened on that list.

Rating: 1.1
Prelisten Guess: 2.9
Season To Date: -1.25

Extra Credit:
For better written and more interesting retroinspired music with a XX chromosomed singer, try: Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You? http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Old+World+Underground+Where+Are+You+Now/2415268

admin (196 Posts)

Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.


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