Song of the Day: Hell yeah! New Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs can do no wrong in the eyes of the hippest music fans, who oddly seem to cheerlead the band's monumental success. For a normal band, selling some records and grabbing a few national covers mean an end to cred; Karen O and co. could appear in People, and fans just think it's cute, well-deserved and a little overdue.
That's fine by me. This is a sweet band, and I care nothing for that type of petty politics. Their latest record, out yesterday, is another example of them re-inventing gritty synth-pop and then playing it better than everyone else. Though fierce, it has amazing focus, coherence, restraint and delicacy.
On any other band's album, "Soft Shock" would be a cool down -- the calm after the storm, a receding tide, maybe a little boring. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs know no such thing. Even this track is harsh and calculated, edgy even with softer vocals and a synthesizer that's not causing migraines. Competing background riffs and the most gentle vibe sounds work even more depth into a pulsing masterpiece that could stand alone with its surface power.
Plus, I can see this album cover going down in rock history with others that work because they appear simple but are actually weird and delicately staged. These include: No Pussyfooting, Fripp & Eno Ambient 1/Music for Airports, Brian Eno Aladdin Sane, David Bowie