“It’s Blitz” Yeah Yeah Yeahs album review by Peter Cho
“It’s Blitz!” is a shift for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a mellow departure from previous albums like “Fever to Tell.” The gasping, screaming and shouting are replaced with sultry and smooth vocals from front woman Karen O. Gone are the grunge and dirt of past tracks like “Rich,” instead we see synth-pop influenced tracks like “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll.”
Although the album was originally set for release on April 13, the label changed the date to March 31 after it leaked to the Internet. Spring appears to be a prime season for leaks, with bands The Decemberists and Metric also experiencing leaks of their upcoming albums.
The album is definitely different, as if reacting to the shift of the musical landscape towards electronic music. However, “It’s Blitz!” isn’t an adjustment towards current trends, but rather an acknowledgement and an evolution for the band. It sounds like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but not exactly. Rather, it sounds like the pod people version of them. (But good pod people, not the evil ones in movies).
One of the highlights of the album is the danceable “Heads Will Roll,” which will most likely become an anthem for teenage girls getting ready to party. The album plays almost like a movie, with upbeat tracks like “Soft Shock” shifting into a more eerie tone set by “Runaway.” “Dragon Queen” is just a cool track and evokes the image of rock goddess Karen O swaying back and forth, head tilted down seductively, while seducing hordes of men. Seriously. Words to describe the album: eerie, upbeat, electric, dreamy and earthy.
With the critical acclaim the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have received in the past for their albums “Fever to Tell” and “Show Your Bones,” one might think they would be due for a cool down. One would be dead wrong. “It’s Blitz!” strikes like lightning, and is easily one of the best releases of what is starting to look like a musically promising 2009. The digital version of the album was released March 9, and the CD will be released March 31. Thank the leakers for letting us experience this gem of an album a month early.