Yeasayer

Erotic Reruns

Yeasayer Records

Jun 11, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Yeasayer have never allowed their sound to go stagnant, approaching each record almost as if it were an unrelated entity rather than a continuation of what's come before. This compulsive experimentation is one of the things that has kept Yeasayer so relevant more than a decade past their smash debut All Hours Cymbal. Each album since has been a surprise: occasionally divisive, but always bold.

Their latest, Erotic Reruns, may mark the biggest leap taken between records. It's hard to imagine it being much further from 2016's Amen & Goodbye while recognizably being the work of the same band. The last album was a collection of atmospheric and frequently alien-sounding tracks, cut up with brief, prog-ish interludes; this is a straight-forward pop record, without a single song that cracks four minutes or wastes any time getting to its hook. (Its nine songs clock in at only half an hour.)

It's no surprise that Yeasayer can write incredible pop songs. "Ecstatic Baby" is one of this summer's premiere tracks: an exuberant love song with endearingly sincere lyrics sung in a Bee Gees-ian falsetto. And yet, there's an unabashed weirdness in the wonky siren-like sound that cuts through the vocal harmonies and lends it the feel of signature Yeasayer of old. Much of what's on Erotic Reruns, though, is short on those bizarre touches you'd never hear on pop radio, or heavily underplays them. "People I Loved" and "I'll Kiss You Tonight" are similarly catchy tracks, but are so traditional they leave you feeling that the band were abiding by some sort of self-imposed restrictions to reign themselves in. Only on "24-Hour Hateful Live!"with its shifting vocal styles, odd effects, and sax accompanimentdoes the band let their freak flag flap freely in the wind.

When a band like Yeasayerone of the bravest groups in indie rock as far as their willingness to venture off proven pathsstarts each recording process by intentionally tossing the baby out with the bathwater, it's inescapable that not everyone will love every release. For the Yeasayer fans who enjoy their stranger stylings, this will fall out of rotation quicker than others; that doesn't make it bad, just not a favorite. Either way, we'll all be eagerly awaiting wherever they head next. (www.yeasayer.band)

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