Back from the wilderness, Show Your Bones is a flag-waving, assertive follow. Whilst Karen O.'s trademark cat-screams may be a thing of the past, this is an album that somehow manages to sound more like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Opener (and pre-released iTunes exclusive) 'Gold Lion' could almost be called formulaic, yet it sounds fresher than anything any of their contemporaries have managed since Fever to Tell. It also sounds like the soundtrack for an iPod advert. 'Way Out' is more angular, with Nick Zinner's guitars leading the way forward.
One of Show Your Bones' highlights has to be 'Phenomena'. Hip hop inspired guitar riffs mix with Karen's calls - "Something like a phe-nom-ena baby, you're something like a phenomena" - to create pop gold. This is balls-out, cards down aggressiveness and BlackPlastic can't help but love every second of it.The band have taken a more electronic sound with this album and it is on 'Cheated Hearts' that this is most evident. Here the band carve out a mellower route, more in the vein of Fever To Tell's 'Y Control' and when Karen sings "Sometimes I think I'm bigger than the sound" you can't help but believe her. 'Warrior' is perhaps Show Your Bones' pinnacle, O. singing about her unique personality whilst the song builds to a crescendo.
Show Your Bones is probably never going to be as universally loved as Fever To Tell. It isn't as open or as distinctive. You have to work at it. Perhaps worst of all, it doesn't contain 'Maps', and the closest moments here just can't match that level of emotional honesty. But stick with it and you will surely start to see this album's appeal. It is aggressive, it knows what it fucking wants and it doesn't care if you like it. It is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Enjoy.
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