Album Review Yeasayer - Erotic Reruns

Yeasayer - Erotic Reruns

A genuinely beguiling album.

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There’s a sense, heading into this fifth Yeasayer record, of them going back to basics - or as close to basics as things ever really get for the psych-pop veterans, at least. The core trio of Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton took the reins themselves to turn out this taut, no-frills nine-track effort that was conceived and recorded entirely between the trio’s home studios in Brooklyn and in upstate New York. The result, sonically at least, is the band’s most accessible album in a decade, since 2009’s ‘Odd Blood’; these tracks are less about experimentation and dense electronic soundscapes and more interested in having the hooks and melodies front and centre, which results in standouts like the supremely danceable ‘Ecstatic Baby’ and the brooding, bass-driven ‘I’ll Kiss You Tonight’.

Work on ‘Erotic Reruns’ began around the time of the 2016 presidential election and, perhaps surprisingly for a band not known for wearing their politics on their sleeves in the past, a slew of these tracks reflect on the present state of America in bitingly satirical fashion. The pick up the bunch is the gleefully sardonic ’24-Hour Hateful Live!’, which namechecks Sarah Sanders as it cuts the culture of rolling news and Trump’s grounding in reality television down to size, while ‘Let Me Listen in On You’ is a heavy-handed dissection of the surveillance state. It makes for a weird dichotomy that comes to define ‘Erotic Reruns’; musically, Yeasayer are travelling back to what they know best, whilst thematically, they’re in uncharted waters. They don’t quite pull it off as spectacularly as they might have looked set to on paper, but - for the first time in a while - they’ve made a genuinely beguiling album.

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