Album Review

Odd Blood

Odd Blood

by Yeasayer


SPUNK
8 / 10
17th February 2010

Reviewed by Courtney Sanders


Having discovered this band, then quickly commandeered them for a feature on both their debut release All Hour Cymbals and on that Brooklyn African chic cum indie rock explosion and again for their follow up, this album, Odd Blood, one can assume that my appreciation for the band lies anywhere but album-listen-and-review-only. I’ve found Chris Keating a formidable interviewee, their live performance engaging (a friend and I even pronouncing it one of our favourite shows of last year) and their sound altogether progressive and interesting while maintaining a direct pop accessibility.

‘Ambling Alp’ the lead single from Odd Blood reads pretty much like Yeasayer of yore; an Alexandro Jodorowsky surrealist portrait from the ‘70’s that eloquently tells tales of mystical excess while at the same time firmly rooting itself in current culture –tribal drum beats, effeminate vocals and uplifting lyrics like “stick up for yourself son / don’t mind what anybody else done” all screamed Holy Mountain-meets-Top of the Pops. And then the full album became available. World music – apart from the odd overt Phill Collins moment – track ‘O.N.E’ – pretty much pushed out of sight in favour of? Disco. Yup, the purveyors of Brooklyn indie cool have gone where few of their counterparts would dare tread, in their own (Keating, vox) words: “We’re all really big fans of dance music production and dance hall, and so it was natural to try pursue those production techniques while still writing the songs we wanted to write. It was an attempt to engage with a pop dialogue, you know I’m a big fan of hip hop production - I even like the new Shakira song - so it seemed interesting to us to make our version of what that might sound like.”

And that honestly, pretty much sums it up. Massive, clean production (which they did themselves), electronic drums – actually electronic most things – vocoded lyrics and really really danc-ey beats. The highlights? The double edged love sword in the middle of the album ‘I Remember’ and the aforementioned ‘O.N.E’ as well as ‘Rome’ which proclaims “Rome is going to be mine / It’s just a matter of time”. Odd Blood? Nah, I would say, even though they won’t, that this is definitely their crossover album. The remix versions anyone?




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