Music Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "It's Blitz!"

There’s only one word that adequately describes indie rock band and New York City natives, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs: unpredictable. Ever since stepping onto the scene, they have constantly refined and adapted themselves, all the while sticking close enough to their roots to remain a pleasurable listen. Thus, with their latest album, It’s Blitz!, on the horizon, fans of the band expected something fresh and exciting.

And once again, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have delivered. For the new record, the band ditched much of its signature garage rock grunge and hit the dance floor – adding a chorus line of MIDI controllers and drum machines to their mix. Facilitating the transition is co-producer and TV On the Radio guitarist, David Sitek, whose influence can be heard everywhere on the album, which feels similar last year’s TVOTR offering, Dear Science. In Sitek’s hands, the band has masterfully and tastefully reinvented their sound. Guitarist, Nick Zinner, also adapts well to the change, knowing when to take a back seat to the synth and when to tastefully cut through the mix. All things considered, It’s Blitz! finds the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the top of their game. It’s one of the most compelling pop-rock albums of this decade.

The record kicks off with the current single, “Zero,” and from the very first second, a pulsing synth sequence lets you know that you’re in for a ride. Singer Karen O trills and pants atop a layering of keyboards and drum machines as the song builds through the first two minutes. Then, just when you thought the band had ridden itself of all things stringed, the song explodes into a soaring, fuzz-driven guitar solo. By the end of the track, you wonder how the band could possibly follow such a stunning opener.

But the album keeps its pace, rolling through a rock-solid lineup of songs. “Soft Shock” is exactly what its name implies: dynamically tame in its context but every bit as vibrant as the rest of the album. For those of you who (for some weird reason) aren’t excited about the electronic currents of this record, have no fear. On “Dull Life” and “Shame and Fortune,” the band moves the synths to the background, landing a one-two punch of guitar rocking winners. The album holds steady for the home stretch with “Dragon Queen,” a club-worthy mix of percussion and chiming guitars and “Hysteric,” a poignant, airy set up to the dreamy closer, “Little Shadow.” On the last vocal line of the record, Karen O asks, “to the night, will you follow me?” If she plans to continue in the direction of this album, the answer is a resounding yes.

Aside from their new electro-pop vibe, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have gained another new element on this album: a sense of direction. It’s Blitz! is their first effort that really feels like a cohesive unit, and thus, it emerges as the most satisfying electro-pop record this side of MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. Expect to see this on most critics’ “Best Of” lists for 2009.

Score: 9/10

So it goes,

This is the extended version of a review originally published in The Gadfly, a magazine of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at the King's College in New York.

Picture from here


Post a Comment


Here at SIG, we are devoted to reviewing just about anything you can think of and some things you didn't even know existed. You're welcome, Internet.


If you have anything that you want reviewed on SIG, feel free to e-mail us about it at

Help Wanted

We are always looking for more writers so if you think you have what it takes to be a regular or even guest reviewer, drop us an e-mail with a review (& short bio) and, if its good enough, we'll feature it or even better, add you on to our site!