'It's Blitz', the third album from New York band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, sees them take a totally new approach to previous releases, and it pays off.
From their guitar-heavy and frenetic eponymous EP in 2001, they took a change of direction with their 2003 debut album 'Fever to Tell', showing a more melodic and artful side. In particular, the ballad 'Maps' demonstrated the depth of the band's songwriting ability.
With the 2006 follow-up, 'Show Your Bones', they once again changed direction and traded in their punky, adrenaline-fuelled sound for a mellower, acoustic treatment. For 'It's Blitz' they have for once and for all embraced their pop instincts and released a record that is full of catchy, danceable tunes, with a few gorgeous slower numbers thrown in.
It opens with a blast with first single 'Zero', a fun track in which frenzied frontwoman Karen O pleads with you to "Get your leather on". Swiftly following is 'Heads will Roll', an equally catchy offering that is worthy of its refrain "Dance 'til you're dead". 'Soft Shock', with its fuzzy sound, keyboard melodies and ultra-poppy leaning, is more delicate but still as strong as the opening tracks. The haunting 'Skeletons' shows that they don't need to be noisy to make a big impact.
Towards the end of the album the mood becomes a lot more reflective, and a few gems are to be found. 'Hysteric' is an absolutely beautiful song in which Karen O's voice soars over David Zinner's laidback guitar riffs. In keeping with their new sound, Karen O's lyrics have taken a much more personal slant, and much of what's on the album is pretty affecting.
'It's Blitz' is a definite grower that that shows the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are at no risk of running out of material, or inspiration anytime soon.