Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Karen O (vocals); Nick Zinner (guitar); Brian Chase (drums).
Additional personnel: Money Mark (keyboards); David Andrew Sitek (sampler).
SHOW YOUR BONES, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's 2006 sophomore full-length, was one of the most anticipated releases of the year. The band's fiery, unhinged 2003 major-label debut, FEVER TO TELL, yanked the band out of NYC clubs and onto the world stage, and while most of the musical cognoscente anticipated a sonic shake-up of some sort for the sequel, in exactly what direction the YYYs would head was a source of much speculation. Would they follow Liars into the murky depths of willfully alienating avant noise, or would they Liz-Phair themselves right into glossy commercial irrelevance?
In fact, it's neither of the above. As tracks like "Gold Lion," "Honeybear," and "Cheated Hearts" show, the band clearly isn't out to ruffle any feathers, but they're also not forsaking the infectious, art-tinged punk that got them where they are. Guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase are spot-on as usual, and Karen O is in lovely, if somewhat restrained, voice throughout. The production is bright and full, and enhances the glammy, anthemic underpinnings of the band's sound. And although it's not going to inspire any future prom themes a la "Maps," SHOW YOUR BONES has strengthened the YYYs claim to being that rarest of animals--a legitimate Top 40 rock band with a genuine artistic sensibility.
Rolling Stone (p.59) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "SHOW YOUR BONES is their true show of brass....[Zinner's] guitar architecture is outstanding throughout the album."
Rolling Stone (p.109) - Ranked #44 in Rolling Stone's "The Top 50 Albums Of 2006" -- "[A] triumph: dark, spooky, lithe, broodingly sexy..."
Spin (p.57) - Ranked #31 in Spin's "The 40 Best Albums of 2006" -- "[The] high-stakes melodrama suited Karen O and her boys....[A] surprisingly vulnerable set..."
Q (p.123) - Ranked #33 in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006" -- "[M]usically and lyrically deft, and more importantly, driven by bigger riffs and better tunes."
Uncut (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'Turn Into' provides a perfectly epic finish: another 'Maps'-style cri de coeur exploding in flashes of Satie piano and quivering B-movie guitar."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "With 'Phenomena' and 'Cheated Hearts' maintaining their reputation for effortless rock'n'roll, while 'Warrior' and 'Dudley' use their suggestive suppleness to stretch in newly reflective directions."