Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cool It Down (Secretly Canadian) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Cool It Down

Secretly Canadian

Sep 29, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Cool It Down is certainly an apt title for Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fifth studio album. There’s a real sense of a band comfortable within their own skin, and unlike some of their peers, this isn’t a futile attempt to rekindle or recreate the swaggering insouciance and frenetic energy of their youth.

Cool It Down is the sound of the band maturing elegantly without losing any of their creative fire. Perhaps because each member has been busy with solo projects, it’s hard to believe this album marks their first new material for nine years (since 2013’s Mosquito). Clearly the pandemic has played its part giving the band a fresh impetus to regroup as Karen O explained that previously she’d taken the ability to make music for granted—“I felt, for the first time, ‘What if we don’t get to do it again?’ That thought had never crossed my mind before and I really felt it profoundly during the pandemic.”

So when O reconvened with fellow members Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, as well as Dave Sitek (“basically a fourth member of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, at this point”), there was a sense of gratitude and a fierce curiosity to explore what they could create together after the collective trauma of a global pandemic.

The result is one of their finest albums to date, kicking off with its first single, the exquisite “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” a track which unfurls with an epic elegance and sees Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas cast as the perfect foil for O’s dramatic soaring vocals.

Highlights include the majestic “Lovebomb,” which could be an alternative Bond theme if Bond eschewed the bombast for understated beauty. The propulsive “Wolf” is glorious, replete with an absolute killer synth riff allied to O’s spellbinding vocals. Elsewhere “Burning” conjures up the sophisticated “soul rock” the likes of Mattiel are so adept at, with O putting her own unique stamp on it, whilst “Blacktop” is imbued with a Lana Del Rey sense of doomed grandeur. The album closes with the spoken word “Mars” (which coincidently happens to be the name of the NYC bar where Karen O first met Nick Zinner), in which O has a dream-like conversation with her son. It may be sparse but it also manages to be incredibly moving, otherworldly, and utterly magical.

Cool It Down may be only eight tracks long but there’s so much to admire that you certainly don’t feel short-changed, in fact, it reinforces just how much they have been missed. It’s great to have them back and in such sparkling form. (www.yeahyeahyeahs.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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