Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hating Yeasayer, liking Blockhead, celebrating victory…

So I think I might have mentioned how much I hate this new Yeasayer album Odd Blood. Apparently, I’m out on my own on this. Charlie Wilmouth, who is one of my favorite writers at Dusted, was offput but not wholly negative, and the chatter on ILX is that PFM will give it Best New Music and a rating probably north of 8.5.

I repeat, I really hate this album and had lots of trouble getting through it the six to eight times it takes to review something, even something really awful.

Well, okay, if you’re going to be wrong, be wrong with conviction. Here’s my Blurt review:

Yeasayer, naysayer... this album blows.

Yeasayer, the Brooklyn ethno-trance-dance celebrants, caught a wave set in motion by Animal Collective in 2007, releasing All Hour Cymbals to unequivocal praise. MTV called them "One of Seven Bands at SXSW That Matter." Pitchfork gave them a 7.8. Entourage ran "Sunrise" over its closing credits. Beck offered an opening slot. And all this for an album released on tiny We Are Free label.

Odd Blood, the second album, looks to be the band's bid for a commercial killing, released on a bigger label (Secretly Canadian) with simpler, more accessible songs and far, far cleaner production. But unfortunately, clarity is not working in Yeasayer's favor. Getting a good listen to Odd Blood is the music world's version of waking up in bed with someone who is not as good looking as you thought, not good looking at all in fact, and possibly not even of the opposite sex. What were you thinking?

Want more? Feel free.

The infamous “ONE”

On the other hand, I rather liked Blockhead’s The Music Scene, which you can read about here.

Here’s “It’s Raining Clouds”

On a final, personal note, I gotta brag a little about my son, Sean, who has had a really awesome season in XC skiing. His team finished second in the state yesterday and he, as a freshman, placed 12th in the classic race (if he’d been 30 seconds faster he would have qualified for the Meet of Champions, which would have been cool, but he’ll get them next year). He’s also on the New Hampshire J-2 team, which is the top 20 skiers aged 14 and 15, who will be competing against other state’s teams (VT and ME are apparently the ones to beat) on the first weekend in March.

Here he is clutching the runner-up trophy from yesterday with the world’s biggest smile on his face. (Thanks to Dominic St. Pierre for the photo.)


Ian said...

I imagine the PF 6.1 for Yeasayer was a pleasent surprise. I've never heard them, and I'm not eager to.

jenniferpkelly said...

Oh yeah, how did I miss that?

I don't want to be vindictive, but it's always weird when I viscerally hate something and everybody else thinks it's great.

Ian said...

No, no, I totally get that.

TF said...

thank you! i'm also really, really sick of formulaic garbage like yeasayer getting high marks. they come across so blatantly phony and lame. they unfortunately could only exist in 2010, riding the coattails of bands long over with yelpey vocals and "weird drums".

jenniferpkelly said...

oh thanks todd, i don't hate stuff that much very often, but I really hated Odd Blood.