Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Show Your Bones (Interscope)

Phases and Stages

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Show Your Bones (Interscope)

What's music without spine? Looser? Free from convention? In the case of Brooklyn's Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their sophomore LP, Show Your Bones, it's just lifeless. This isn't the Karen O we've come to love. Remember O balancing riot grrrl and glam queen? This ain't her, babe. Opening with Love and Rockets copycat "Gold Lion," Bones loses flail with each passing track. Even album highlight "Phenomena" is on loan from Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J – depending on whom you ask. Siouxsie permeates the album ("Honeybear"), coupled with less-obvious nods to Echo & the Bunnymen ("Dudley"), Neil Young ("Warrior"), and the YYY's own "Maps" ("The Sweets," "Turn Into"). Of course the realm of original rock music is sparse and more uncommon as time passes, but perhaps the Bones of this trio are simply its skeleton showing. Even then, however, O's grunts and screeches from the YYY's delirious debut, 2003's Fever to Tell, have become horribly off-key in their über dramatic pseudo-quiver. Gone is the glitzy art-punk, spastic freak-out, and unfathomable screaming. Here now instead is simple melody, nasal singing, and familiar songs, which begs the question: Y Control?


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