One would think an acoustic album from the screaming queen of modern punk-art-rock band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, wouldn’t work, but she applies the short and sweet aesthetic of punk into her acoustic album Crush Songs. Clocking in under 30 minutes the album while nothing monumental or indicative of a better solo act, doesn’t overstay its welcome and leaves listeners smiling.
The whole album is acoustic with a very punk take on it, from the lo-fi and filtered vocals, most songs barely hitting two minutes and in weird contrast to this the whole thing feels like a half-hour sit-down around Karen’s campfire. The lead single “Rapt” has a chugging nature to its syncopation but it feels almost self-motivational in this way and it’s as intimate as can be, and Karen’s little screech at the end is a cute contrast to her usual wailing ones. “NYC Baby” has a similar feel to it but tells the story of a lost lover and at 50 seconds it’s gone in a blink of an eye.
“Day Go By” is a much brighter track that feels brutally honest in its lyricism and Karen’s slightly amateur guitar playing actually makes it feel a lot sweeter and more real. “Body” is the self-first love anthem, speaking of finding love but making sure it’s what you want first. Complete with tongue clack percussion and an ooo section that goes into the album’s most punk moment on a very shrieky vocal solo.