Yeasayer: ODD BLOOD
Since the release of their critically acclaimed 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals, Yeasayer has been around the world and back again. While their first record was conceived in total artistic isolation, constant touring forced Yeasayer to finally engage with their contemporaries. If All Hour Cymbals was Yeasayer’s attempt at global and ambient cultural mash-up then their new album, ODD BLOOD, takes place in an off-world colony sometime after the Singularity. Glimmering reverb haze is eschewed and replaced by a cavalcade of disorienting pitch effects and flickering ectoplasmic wisps. At times Yeasayer sound as if they would be at home playing live in scene from Blade Runner or inside one of Oscar Neimeyer’s concrete modernist temples from the 1960s.
After the rubble clears from opening track "The Children", the album leaps into Yeasayer’s version of the pop anthem with “Ambling Alp,” “Madder Red,” “I Remember,” and “O.N.E.” Yeasayer have plunged into the craft of pop music, and the exercise has paid off. The second half of ODD BLOOD is slightly more experimental in nature. Sci-fi musical jams (“Mondegreen”), maniacal rants (“Grizelda”), and paranoia (“Love Me Girl”) show the band exploring more paranoid motifs, yet never deprive the listener of hooks and ear candy.
ODD BLOOD plays out at a blistering pace, yet it never sacrifices depth or content. One thing is certain: Yeasayer are accomplished audiologists who are willing to pilfer decades of pop sensibilities and cultural history to create something that is uniquely their own.