Yeasayer : Fragrant World
Yeasayer’s breakthrough album, 2009’s Odd Blood, had its fervent fans but, a handful of stunning singles aside, it’s a wildly uneven album. This follow-up addresses the flaws of their last two collections, melding the darkness and strangeness of their debut with the electro-pop fizz of their second album. Although it lacks a standout moment such as 2080 or O.N.E., the new album is perhaps their most consistent collection to date and marks another brave new step forward for the Brooklyn-based trio.
The skittish, nervous qualities of the band are ever-present and Fragrant World finds them retreating into a darker, denser world that will be of cold comfort to many Odd Blood lovers. Guitars have been mostly disposed of or are disguised to blend in with the glitchy electronic trappings. The vocals are often heavily treated, adding to the alienating, distorted qualities of the music. At least the surreal rightwing zombie groove of Reagan’s Skeleton shows the band haven’t lost their sense of humour, even if it’s black as tar.
Fragrant World is not an easy album to love and its unlikely to be greeted with the same adoration heaped on the bands’ past work, but it makes for an enticingly difficult third album.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Henrietta
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Wixiw LIARS, Future This THE BIG PINK
In A Word: Anxious