Odd Blood is not All Hour Cymbals – and if that’s what you were hoping for, don’t expect an apology. Odd Blood offers a new portrait of Yeasayer, heading in a different direction than anything the band has previously released. For the stubborn this endeavor could be frustrating, as All Hour Cymbals II may have been expected. But this latest album from Yeasyaer has a different milieu. It’s an atmosphere that seems foreign but ultimately meshes endearing pop sensibilities with a unique sound blend – an odd pop record so to speak.
“The Children” opens with eerie vocal manipulation amidst the backdrop of drum machines, saxophone samples and chilling hard-to-identity methods of slow percussion. The result is welcoming and makes the listener assume the album will further explore the realm of the weird. Instrumentally, Odd Blood continues successfully down this path; however, many of the lyrics on Yeasayer’s sophomore album are just, well…bad. “Love Me Girl” opens up with an expansive blend of piano arpeggios, odd vocal effects, bird sounds and interesting drum elements, but the lyrics come in and murder the aura – call it vibe homicide.
It doesn’t go as far as Animal Collective playing the backup band for Adam Lambert (which has not nor ever will happen, thank god), but it’s disappointingly close. With earlier songs like “Sunrise” and “Tightrope” Yeasayer portrayed a boldness and confidence that only comes from being beat down by a struggle. “Ambling Alp” is the sole track on this record that presents this fearlessness.
The pop heart that is the factory for Odd Blood pumps well through the speakers on “O.N.E.” The story goes back and forth from some chick not “moving him anymore” and then liking it when she “loses control.” Not very complex but the song is undeniably catchy. With synths, drum machines, odd samples, passionate vocals and the perfect transition into the chorus, “O.N.E.” is a success.
Yeasayer came out of nowhere with zero budget for marketing. Hell, they weren’t even photographed during the onset of their career. When All Hour Cymbals crashed onto the scene, most smitten listeners could swear they possessed supernatural healing powers. Those powers are still present, but along with some changes that might not be what anybody expects, likes or wants. Odd Blood is instrumentally intrepid and lyrically disappointing. But Yeasayer is human after all, and maybe that’s the point of Odd Blood.
by: Bene Garcia