"Odd Blood" by Yeasayer

Yeasayer
Odd Blood

Secretly Canadian
2010

Review

Man, is this one weird record. I had never heard of Yeasayer - yeah, I admit it, it's hard to keep up. The thing is, this record is all over the damn place. It's a bit frustrating, to be honest. I mean, you've got the impenetrable introduction in "The Children" that makes you think that this album is not going to end up very good. But then you have singles like "Madder Red" and "O.N.E." that are amazing. I suppose it's the yin and yang of the "experimental rock" label at work here. Yes, this is a very strange record that is so experimental in parts as to be a bit uninteresting - and yet, occasionally, there are moments of true and somewhat astounding brilliance.

Let's talk about "Madder Red" - a song that I've listened to on repeat about 15 times before the preceding paragraph got the "yeah, that's a good intro" label. This song is very cool, almost synth rock and reminds me of something that the Kaiser Chiefs would do if they were a tad more somber. That is diametrically opposed to "The Children" which sounds like Nine Inch Nails underwater. This song is followed by "I Remember" which is a very beautiful song about memories of a loved one that is at times playful, but very earnest and moving:

I remember making love on a Sunday
bright golden hearts in a fresh cut grass in May
I remember making out on an airplane
Still afraid of flying, but with you I'd die today
I remember the smell of your skin forever
Love us being stupid together

..OK, and that is followed by a whole bunch of extra goodness is "O.N.E." that is a brilliant Dance/Rock/Pop joint that is just awesome and that I love...but man, is some of this stuff random. I suppose that's part of the appeal. It's the intersection of experimentation and quality that turn this into something compelling...but man, is it hard to write about. Is that a cop out? Maybe. But "The Children", "Ambling Alp", "Strange Reunion" and "Grizelda" are not really all that accessible...and yet it is those tracks here that are the most poppy that make the album the most compelling ("I Remember" being sort of an exception). So if you can dig on "O.N.E." and can find the humor in the sort of gross video for "Madder Red", then give this one a listen or two...just don't expect all of it to make that much sense.

3.900 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. The Children (03:14) 2
2. Ambling Alp (03:57) 4
3. Madder Red (04:05) 5
4. I Remember (04:25) 5
5. O.N.E. (05:25) 5
6. Love Me Girl (05:02) 4
7. Rome (03:50) 4
8. Strange Reunions (02:37) 3
9. Mondegreen (04:39) 4
10. Grizelda (02:40) 3