Love Songs and Dedications
Singing lines like “and the pain that we left at the station will stay in a jar behind us/we can pickle the pain into blue ribbon winners at county contests” and “Mary's house in the hollow of the white hazel/rapid whirlpool and the church of hurricane," Yeasayer sounded rather like dudes on 'shrooms; or, at the very least, psychedelic fellows happily beholden to atmosphere over clarity.
If you're to go just by the lyric-sheet, Odd Blood couldn't be farther away as a follow-up. Where the first record featured mind-bending images sung in group harmony, here Chris Keating takes a step forward as frontman, and delivers a set of songs leaning on lovesong cliché. It's all "makin' love" this and "my baby" that; with rousing choruses repeating refrains like "You're stuck in my mind/all the time" and "Don't give up on me, love/and I won't give up on you, love."
Nevermind What Anybody Else Done
"I Remember" is a perfect example. A bonafide ballad built on sinuous synth squiggles and slippery imitation-piano arpeggios, it finds Keating, in semi-hysterical falsetto, knocking out some sweet sentiments for his (departed) baby. "I remember making out on an airplane," Keating carols, in a voice reaching for 30,000 feet, "Still afraid of flying, but with you I'd die today/woah-oh."
It's genuinely, reverently beautiful; the kind of simple, uncomplicated, uncluttered song that didn't exist in All Hour Cymbals genre-razing, apocalyptic jamboree. Whether you prefer your Yeasayer mysterious, shadowy, and stoned-sounding, or openly striving for lyrical clarity and dancefloor fervor is a personal choice. But neither side of the divide could deny that it's a large evolutionary leap Yeasayer's made.
It's sage advice, and, going by the fearless exuberance on display, here, Yeasayer are clearly trying to practice what they preach.
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Release Date: February 9, 2010