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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz!
Interscope

Rating: 8.7/10 ?


August 14, 2009
Is Karen O actually capable of saving rock and roll, or are all the whispers uttered to that effect just an indie-rock rallying cry from business smart, expansionist hipsters, tired of hearing that Flo Rida song about oral sex every time they start their car up with the radio on? Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the chosen few with potential to infiltrate the front lines of pop culture, possessing a blessed balance of God-given talent, showmanship, pop sensibility, and community respect. The trio that is the pride and hope of New York have been poised to make a record with the capability of rescuing the mainstream from its sex rap slumber since "Maps," and It's Blitz! is that record.

Much akin to the evolution and image of Debbie Harry, with this record, Karen O and cohorts are teaching Top 40 radio how to write a real song you can dance your ass off to with attitude and integrity. Their new sound is more textured: a sea of synths and danceable drumbeats, displayed most prominently in the opening two firestarters, "Zero" and "Heads Will Roll." In Blondie-esque projections and flashes of glitter and veiled sexuality, with "Heads" taking "Heart of Glass"'s place as the party summit. But it's tracks like"Soft Shock" and "Shame and Fortune" that establishes the group's deep and completely realized comfort zone, showcasing an ability to write a strong pop song for the sake of making a great album rather than pitching to Alternative radio.

Since "Maps", every Yeah Yeah Yeahs record has needed a reflective pause, and "Skeletons" more than fits the bill. Simply put, it is a stunner of a song; a heartbroken lullaby that breathes and grows like a living being. The prime example of It's Blitz!'s varying strengths, however, is "Hysteric," which happily combines pop euphoria with emotional honesty, nothing new for pop, but still surprisingly affecting and all-encompassing for an indie-rocker. This might have one assuming the trappings of a party record, but it should be heard with headphones in a bedroom for maximum effect. If this is the band's Parallel Lines, they've brought tunes worth comparing.

Reviewed by Dave Toropov
Introduced to music in the womb with a pair of headphones on his mother's stomach, Dave Toropov has yet to recover the experience. A writer based in Boston and New York, he has also written for Prefix Magazine and What Was It Anyway, and is the maintainer of the "Middleclass Haunt" blog.

See other reviews by Dave Toropov

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