Sunday, 26 August 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #289 - Yeasayer, "Fragrant World"

Listened to this a day or two ago, whilst doing some work. It didn't make much of an impression. Which probably meant that the work at least went a bit quicker.

But on repeat listens, there is more going on. "Blue Paper" punches a few symphonic pop buttons. I'm sure these guys used to sound like they were chanting over fires, that Baltimore business with Animal Collective. Liquid John Hughes teen lava snaking under the surface. And a really sweet move at the end of the track. It seems to last for weeks. And the album comes to spooky life. "Oh Henrietta?We can make love forever" - it certainly sounds like it.

The other stand out track - if not for the title alone - is "Reagan's Skeleton". There are other stand out tracks too, but none of them are called "Reagan's Skeleton". It sounds anthemic, and there's talk of Reagan's skeleton leading his army of the undead. Touch political, I suppose. "Don't fear the red eyes/Fear the satellites overhead" sounds paranoid enough. But I'm not sure whither the rabble are supposed to be roused.

There is a sense of drive and purpose in the tunes that I wasn't expecting. I'm not sure why not; I suppose it becomes natural after a while to assume people aren't really going to throw everything at making music. You hear enough Lighthouse Family, you see enough X Factor. Or maybe they're the people who throw everything at the music, and Yeasayer are the diletantes. Is the foggy sense of not meaning it that I'm connecting with? It has that icy disco sense of alternative Eighties music; I cannot describe.

"My tongue is a pill/I can't spit out."

I'm afraid I'm not able to come up with any insight more penetrating. "Folk Hero Schtick" is one of the more psychedelic snide scenester put downs I've heard with a superficially joyous chorus to further confuse matters. I suppose this would mark them down as a fundamentally small band with small things on their small minds. But I prefer to think this is them expanding it onto a big, woozy mountaintop for eagles to peck at.

Rating: Woozy Machines out of Teen Lava

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