YEAH YEAH YEAHS

(UNITED STATES)

COOL IT DOWN

(2023)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

POP

TAGS:
Electro, Female vocals
"Quite far from what the Yeah Yeah Yeahs got us used to and even if it sounds more like a spontaneous EP than a real album, "Cool It Down" turns out to be an excellent electro pop experimentation."
TORPEDO (09.02.2023)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The pandemic followed by its multiple confinements had the effect of upsetting the habits of many artists and the need to fill a void seems to have been one of the main quests for many of them, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who hadn't really planned to release an album before these events hit the planet. It took nine long years and an existential crisis for them to give a follow-up to "Mosquito", their previous album which proposed rather rock tracks slightly tinged with electro. It's done with "Cool It Down", a very short opus of a little more than 30 minutes that should surprise the band's regulars.

From the opening track, the reason is obvious. If the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a tendency to use electronic sounds on their different productions and especially on "It's Blitz", we have to admit that on "Cool It Down", they went to the end of the concept as they are omnipresent. If you don't like keyboards and other synthetic arrangements and if you only swear by instrumental prowess, forget this release because its content is almost entirely synthetic. The guitars' interventions are reduced to a few riffs, often full of fuzz, which only serve to reinforce the ambiences and, if the drums had been programmed, the difference would probably not have been obvious.

The band takes us on a mostly bombastic electro trip, as in the slow and dramatic single 'Spitting Off The Edge Of The World', which is aimed at climate sceptics, or the excellent 'Wolf', with its space-filling keyboards and huge chorus, an effect reinforced by the fact that it is preceded by a break each time. The ambiences can also be melancholic on 'Lovebomb', an almost trip hop track, once again drowned in synthetic layers on which Karen O's voice is sometimes sung, often declaimed and which ends on a fade out from another era. And when we find a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs of yesteryear, like on the very groovy 'Fleez', almost built by the rhythm section with its fuzz-filled bass and thundering electronic drums, or on 'Burning', which is very soul via its vocals, its piano and its guitar sounds, it's always under the seal of modernity and emphasis. As the post-pandemic tradition demands, we can regret that the end of the album is a bit sloppy with 'Blacktop' which doesn't stand out in the ensemble but lacks catchiness, 'Different Today' is a bit simplistic and 'Mars' is very intimistic.

With five very good, even excellent tracks out of eight, the contract is largely fulfilled. The work done on the production and the search for the right sound is quite impressive and Karen O's vocals, who has a real gift for modulating her voice according to the moods, are always as emotional. Like many bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs needed to express themselves and find an outlet for a stressful situation and it makes sense that they did so through their art. And even if "Cool It Down" seems to be more a spontaneous EP than a full-length, thoughtful album, it's still an excellent experiment.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
METRIC

TRACK LISTING:
01. Spitting Off the Edge of the World
02. Lovebomb
03. Wolf
04. Fleez
05. Burning
06. Blacktop
07. Different Today
08. Mars

LINEUP:
Brian Chase: Batterie
Karen O: Chant / Claviers
Nick Zinner: Guitares / Claviers
   
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