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Back to Sequenza21
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The first single off the upcoming new album by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

A review of the new album in the latest New Yorker (hey, from same, a new short story by Haruki Murakami!). Salon previews the anticipation on the new album here, ending with a snide slap at the new single.

There are two cuts off the YYYs' debut Fever to Tell, "Maps" and "Y Control" that are brilliant, anthemic. Three more cuts are almost brilliant. The rest are merely good. I'm extremely curious, extremely anxious, to hear the entire new album (to be released 3/28).

They have the potential to be huge. They have the potential to match the music with the hype, the music with the look. They could be vital, they could be important. They could be one brilliant album, accidental and flukish, and make their big money on residual flash and marketing. They could be huge and undeserving. I'm excited about this album to hear what will the YYY will become, a band of significant musical weight or a band self-derivative and famous by hype.

And I think it apparent that many listeners of indie are dearly hoping that the album kicks ass. The complete lack of buzz over the new Strokes album, which is neither weaker or stronger than the first, makes me wonder if the recording industry's craven lust for imitation has already burned out the lanky boy band line of Franz Ferdinands and Kaiser Chiefs and Interpol and, most toxic of all, The Killers. Sensitive songwriters, the Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine and Joseph Arthur and the still dead, still overrated Elliott Smith - ageing, ageing. There's a new Radiohead allegedly on tap, but if it's Kid A x 3, old. With the success of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, expect a gaggle of bands riffing on Talking Heads circa More Songs About Buildings and Food. If the YYY release a great album, a FRESH album, with cuts that carry the summer, it could energize a sagging toward moribund indie scene. That the album seems to be getting more press before its release than most albums get after is a sign of desperate hope.

The single is OK. The New Yorker review is positive. I'm almost always disappointed in albums that follow albums I love, in albums I anticipate this much. I suspect this is hardly unique in listeners, and I suspect whatever hopes and fears I have for the new album is magnified a thousand-fold by the musicians themselves. I don't think it's hyperbolic to assert the potential importance of the new YYYs' album. I don't think it's hyperbolic to assert its potential dudness. I'm hopeful. I'm worried. I'm girding myself to be fair.