Luckily, it’s the former. ‘Show Your Bones’ is the album where Karen O and co. ‘do’ their sophomore effort with the style and panache you’d expect from a trio of latter-day NY art-rock heroes. It might not have the raucous, festering punk of its predecessor, but the Yeahs’ new path - a kind of nu-country garage rock hybrid - is just as powerful as anything on ‘Fever To Tell’.
While ‘Fever…’ hissed and spat its way through your eardrums, ‘…Bones’ is the mangled aftermath - a defiant, wounded collection of world-weary rock. There’s the dizzying blues of ‘Gold Lion’, ‘Honeybear’’s galloping bar-room pop, ‘Cheated Hearts’ anthemic stuttering, and just about every variation of jaw-dropping electrified Americana you can imagine. Sure, it’s a surprising turnaround, and die-hards might dismiss the band as being a dismal shadow of their former selves, but one listen to ‘Phenomena’’s slinky soul or the bruised twang of ‘Warrior’ will have hipsters clamouring for O’s latest haircut faster than you can say ‘well of course, I preferred their earlier stuff’.
While the likes of The Strokes may seem to be in limbo three albums in, it’s promising to watch the YYYs blossom so quickly. ‘Show Your Bones’ is an exhausting ride through the trials and tribulations of Second Album Syndrome, and cements their place as one of the noughties’ most exciting bands. A triumph.
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