Yeah Yeah Yeahs | It's Blitz (Interscope)

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cd_yyy.jpgThe working title was "We're Only in It for the Money"







From the second you listen to "Zero," the first track off the third studio album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you realize you've entered a world of shit. Gone are the NYC edge and almost everything else you've liked about the band, in favor of half-baked ambitions. Anyone who felt cheated by the band's last studio release won't feel good about It's Blitz! and the passerby will think this is the new [insert trendy band here]. This may be the first big disappointment of 2009.

It's impossible to feel like you've never been through this before with Show Your Bones, including the Spin article that highlights some supposed tension, the diversion from the persona and sound of their early work. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have always been know for doing their own thing and yet, here they want nothing more than to make an album that seamlessly melds with the status quo. Maybe it's our fault; we've been making excuses to justify Karen O's egotism and resent of what made her relevant as if she were Chuck Berry, and this time we're the ones getting pissed on. The idea to not have Nick Zinner melt faces, but work with synths and guitar filters, is almost laughable, but it in the end it works only because of his own musicality and drive. The problem, as always, seems to be Karen O herself, who here sounds about as believable and impassioned as Kat Dennings' orgasm in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

The album isn't a complete waste, but you've heard it before and done better by bands that are on tour right now. "Dull Life" is classic Yeah Yeah Yeahs. "Shell Shock," "Dragon Queen" and "Heads Will Roll" fare better when compared to the rest of the album, which feels obnoxiously slow and forced. The lyrics, at times, border on self parody, oozing an outdated concept of cool. Overall, it's uneven and uninspired with a few strong, shining moments.

So what we have here is the amazing synthesis of three talented people struggling to rip up their meal tickets. They know they should move on but they can't. People will love this album in much the same way people love blue LEDs on their electronics: it's stimulating and satisfactory but not much else. It's Blitz! is a pedestrian effort at the esoteric. C- | Bryan J. Sutter

RIYL: Cut Copy, The Ting Tings, Ratatat, M83, Hot Chip, Justice

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