On their third album the Yeah Yeah Yeahs decided to go for a much more dance and electronic sounding approach than their first two albums, but their knack at songwriting didn’t suffer, this resulted in It’s Blitz. It also has some of my favourite cover art, of Karen’s hand breaking an egg caught at the moment of explosion.
The album opens on the surprising hit “Zero,” where the band pulls off a dance hit with surprising finesse and they apply their skills with escalating intensity to it to reach a boiling point, when Karen yells “WAS IT THE CUUUUUURE? SHELL SHOCK.” The album continues on this dance feel with the second hit, “Heads Will Roll” a synth-driven song with more delay than distortion til the last half where it ramps up and plays perfectly to the dance music they aim for, even their bridge is amazingly smooth. “Soft Shock” is a much lighter song, more tingling with electronica than the roaring of the first tracks, but it does ramp to a very epic and crowded end.
“Skeletons” is the bands synth version of an acoustic song, and it sounds beautiful, down to the drumstick patterns made to sound like bones rattling. Probably the most Yeah Yeah Yeahs song on here is “Dull Life” that starts sounding more reverb laden and synthy until the drums start building up and it becomes an intense guitar and drum driven song whose verbs sound almost tribal and it builds to a very epic close, Karen’s vocals get their grittiest on this track. “Shame And Fortune” gets right back into the electric vibe but with a much darker tone, in a song that feels both tribal and futuristic.
“Runaway” is hopelessly dreary sounding piano ballad, that despite being much more piano heavy closes in a whirring end of guitars, violin, and drums. “Dragon Queen” comes off as if the band has been making synth-pop for years, its so smooth and everything about it just gives off a cool tone, and its chorus just gets stuck in your ear. “Hysteric” also feels like the band’s synth version of an acoustic song but done so well it sounds utterly enveloping. “Little Shadow” follows this feeling too but closes on a drum heavy and echo laden final sound that closes the album perfectly.
It’s worth mentioning that most of the tracks I mentioned having acoustic feels to them were also recorded by the band as acoustic songs, worth a listen if you’re so inclined.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about Mosquito.