With the wild success of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs's debut album Fever to Tell, the musical trio from New York set a remarkably high standard for itself. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs new and eagerly anticipated sophomore record, Show Your Bones, is a polished, coherent collection of songs that nearly lives up to the quality of their previous album.
The opening track, "Gold Lion," is an upbeat single that perfectly captures the group's rock star persona. Infectious and militant drums punctuate Karen O's melodic and strong voice in a way that braces the listener for the rest of the album.
What follows "Gold Lion" is 40 minutes of animated and high-powered dance beats. "Honeybear" rocks a powerful tempo to which listeners cannot help but bop their heads. The loud screaming of old hit songs such as "Art Star" and "Man" has been tamed and replaced by a much more controlled energy. "Cheated Hearts" offers a dynamic mixture of the signature punk-sounding instrumentals and tuneful rhythms. Intelligent and well-crafted lyrics like "Now take these rings and stow them safe away / I'll wear them on another rainy day" repeat throughout the entire track, which gives it a cyclic vibrancy.
However, the restrained vibe on much of the album can often make the record feel repetitive and forced. While it might be an indication of maturity for the group, fans will find themselves missing the signature random screams and moans of Fever to Tell. Songs on the latter half of the album often feel like the musicians were holding something back and not allowing themselves to let go with the same fervor they had captured on their debut. Additionally, those who adored the group's old love song "Maps" for its ghostly and hollow mellifluousness, will miss its presence on this new album, as nothing sounds anything like it.
Even though Show Your Bones differs greatly from Fever to Tell, the album as a whole is cohesive, showcasing the group's ability to harmonize both strong punk beats and soft cadences. The short, pointed songs enable the album to flow in a logical order, so that by the end of the last track, "Dej‹¨« Vu," the listener feels the blistering, artistic and sexy explosion emblematic of the group itself. The band's buzzing harmonics create an overall compelling and distinctive album that marks the significant progress the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have made.
Tegan and Sara: So Jealous
The melodies and harmonic instrumetals of many of the songs on Show You Bones are reminiscent of these indie twins from Canada.
The White Stripes: Elephant
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs's heavy drum and guitar beats sound similar to the raw blues-rock riffs of the White Stripes, but without the minimalist-inspired basslines of the duo.
Joan Jett: Bad Reputation
Karen O and Jett share the same pop-punk shouts in their songs: think Lilith Fair on mescaline.