Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down Music Album Reviews

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down Music Album Reviews
The trio’s first album in nine years ushers in a patient new era for the band, gracefully shedding the electrifying hunger of its early days to make room for tempered joy.

If any group could capitalize on indie’s embrace of pop and submission to nostalgia in the last decade, Yeah Yeah Yeahs surely might have reshaped their volatile Technicolor swagger to fit the bill to a tasteful T. But leave it to Karen O and co. to explode out of their hiatus with a cannon blast. Slowing down the drum beat of Show Your Bones opener “Gold Lion” to a mechanized crawl, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” the lead single from their first new album in nine years, hurls the band into a cinematic fever dream, trading the former song’s folky guitar strums for the cosmic churning of synthesizers. O, joined by experimental pop prince Perfume Genius, stares down the apocalypse with a commanding sermon, defiant but reflective as she comes to grips with leaving a rotting world to her son.

Late in the song, O turns the camera on herself and hands him the mic. “Mama, what have you done?” she laments as the doomsday clock ticks down, striking midnight to the screaming fuzz of a barn-burning Nick Zinner guitar solo and Brian Chase’s thundering drum fills. The trio throws all of its weight behind the song’s futuristic arena rock, charging out of the bomb shelter to bet it all on a last-ditch trick play. The message is simple but effective: if you’re going to stage a comeback at the end of the world, throw the strongest hail mary pass you can—and pray.

Though the return to IMAX-sized synths and floor-filling beats will inevitably recall the vibrant electronic rock fantasia of 2009’s It’s Blitz!, Cool It Down brings its own sentimental dance party to life by painting with a more tightly coordinated color palette. Producer Dave Sitek, who’s contributed to every YYYs album since 2002’s Machine EP, chops down the guitars to usher in pianos, strings, and heavier bass than they’ve ever played with. Cool It Down’s deep grooves usher in a patient new era, gracefully shedding the electrifying hunger of the band’s early days to make room for tempered joy.

Due to either the album’s truncated recording process—a breezy five months for a group used to a long demo process—or simply rose-colored wistfulness, Yeah Yeah Yeahs spend some of Cool It Down’s sharpest moments citing and deconstructing their influences with refreshing candor. It’s jarring how cleanly “Burning” lifts the vocal melody of the Four Seasons’ “Beggin’.” But as the shock wears off, it’s impossible to ignore the sweetness of the track’s earnest charm, the slick inventions of the updated arrangement that swaddle the original’s ’60s stomp in tight disco strings, or the exhilarating wail of O’s soaring vocal.

The trio pushes this approach one step further on “Fleez,” where O immortalizes a night out seeing reunited dance-punk innovators ESG live. She shouts them out by name in the verse, bouncing along as the band burns a scorching path to ecstasy with a hypnotic funk pulse of its own. After the opener, it’s Cool It Down’s most thrilling break with the past—a warped memory that refuses to decay, grooving harder with each distorted recollection. If giving the Scroggins sisters their flowers will keep Yeah Yeah Yeahs this charged up in the studio, so be it.

Karen O’s genius at transforming the smallest of phrases into endlessly sparkling hooks is no secret: Look no further than the eternal (and Beyoncé-interpolated) chorus of “Maps,” or the way she granulates “taking off” into a percussive sugar rush on Show Your Bones standout “Cheated Hearts.” But every now and then, her reliable lyrical workhorse hits a brick wall—it doesn’t take scarfing down the stomach-churning choruses of “Mosquito” or “Buried Alive” to realize that simple repetition can’t salvage an undercooked idea, much less imbue it with transcendence. Thankfully, Cool It Down doesn’t quite stoop to those lows, but two of its tracks struggle in vain to lift off—a real nuisance on an album with only eight songs. “Different Today” stretches the phrase to its breaking point, its shimmering synthesizers and finely tuned beat working overtime to give O’s empty optimism a narrative arc. There’s deeper heartbreak to be found on “Lovebomb,” in which vague desires for “time” and “light” flounder in an unconvincing dream-pop wash of texture. What could have been a neat genre experiment only serves to kill the momentum of the opening track’s crushing bravado. 

In step with her band’s 11th-hour return, O vaults into Cool It Down’s closing moments with a daring lyrical evolution. Taking advice from fan-turned-influence Michelle Zauner, she tries her hand at poetry, recounting (or at least masterfully fabricating) an impossibly sweet memory of gazing at the ocean with her son: “I watched my favorite show tonight/The dance the light does/On the sea’s ever shifting surface.” As a twinkling synth arpeggio circles overhead, she asks him what the sun looks like. “‘Mars,’ he said/With a glint in his eye,” she recalls, repeating the line—just once—to encase its warmth in amber. In every expansive leap, Yeah Yeah Yeahs reaffirm their magnetic devotion to unearthing vulnerability. It's the magic key to their evergreen formula of amplified tenderness, and hearing them unlock a new passageway is a compelling reward all its own.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down Music Album Reviews Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 06, 2022 Rating: 5


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