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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rebellious ‘Odd Blood’ has musical lineage


    Odd Blood

    Secretly Canadian

    Released Feb. 9, 2010

    Score: A-


    Yeasayer’s new album, Odd Blood, is heavily-layered and powerful, providing listeners with a unique, nostalgia-drenched listening experience.

    The highly-anticipated album from the Brooklyn, N.Y., band has been leaked to private download circles, but on the whole has remained a secret to current and hopeful fans. After the successful 2007 release of All Hour Cymbals, last year’s single “”Ambling Alp,”” along with its bizarre video, has sparked much curiosity in the indie community because of its divergence from a highly choral and percussion-based sound. The album on the whole has proven to be different from All Hour Cymbals, but in a way, that is arguably more refined and complex.

    Yeasayer’s most successful tracks combine an odd texture of synth, pounding snare and bass drum with a mix of synth keyboard baselines that sounds straight out of a futuristic, unknown era. Odd Blood can sound overly futuristic, but somehow the mashup of layered sounds works in a way that feels visionary.

    Other notable tracks include “”O.N.E.,”” a disco-laden pop beat that somehow manages to combine whistles, keyboard and pounding cymbal in a way that not only resists cheesiness, but has an infectious beat. Lyrics like “”hold me like before / hold me like you used to / control me like you used to”” will leave you singing and dancing against a robotic keyboard motif. Who knew such strange sounding music could be so danceable? “”I Remember”” is also memorable, with layered keyboard, synth looping and falsetto vocals that create a hazy, uplifting sound.

    This album defies listeners’ expectations of what kinds of sounds are memorable, yet adheres to conventional composition in a way that is hard to catch. For example, the vocalist’s falsetto, which dips into bleeding-heart belting, is like every ‘80s band that became famous decades ago. Yet it sounds unbelievably fresh coming from Yeasayer.

    Overall, Odd Blood is an adeptly composed, fresh-sounding album that conforms to lyrical conventions that have worked for decades. The cohesiveness and seamless transitions between tracks creates an extremely satisfying album that doesn’t disappoint.

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