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Fragrant World

Yeasayer Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Music

Image of album by Yeasayer

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Videos

Music video for O.N.E.

Biography

Yeasayer's third album, Fragrant World, is a hulking beast of a record. Keyboards clank and wheeze, tiny claps stumble against busted drum machines, and there's very little obvious guitar. It's an album that grapples with the schizophrenia of the modern world by gathering piles of electronics and molding them into something huge and often gorgeous.

After touring endlessly in ... Read more in Amazon's Yeasayer Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Fragrant World + Odd Blood + All Hour Cymbals
Price For All Three: 24.00

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  • Odd Blood 8.70
  • All Hour Cymbals 9.31

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Aug 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute Artists
  • ASIN: B008F6I6AM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Fingers Never Blood 4:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Longevity 3:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Blue Paper 5:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Henrietta 4:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Devil and the Deed 3:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. No Bones 3:080.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Reagan's Skeleton 5:040.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Demon Road 4:120.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Damaged Goods 4:570.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Folk Hero Shtick 4:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Glass Of The Microscope 5:240.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Third studio album from the indie electro outfit, and the follow-up to 2010's Odd Blood. The band have described the album, which includes single "Henrietta", as a "demented R'n'B album".

BBC Review

Prior to the release of this third album, Brooklyn’s triumvirate of indie psych mavericks – Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton – sent fans on an Internet scavenger hunt. Like hipster Easter Bunnies dealing magic and childlike wonder, they hid videos of every song on Fragrant World over the web, dropping clues to help the search.

Successful treasure seekers uncovered avant-garde director Yoshi Sodeoka’s colourful, squirming abstract visuals: an artier version of fractals at a rave. And as you’d expect, there’s a slightly drugged-out feel to the musical loot that these kaleidoscopic (end of the) rainbows accompanied.

Fanclub-only single Henrietta (inspired by the woman whose cancerous cells were used to make an immortal line for medical research) moves from funked-up 80s pop with a bass refrain to dreamy underwater atmospherics and back again, building up to a trippy, mesmerising haze in which Keating intones the mantra: “Oh Henrietta / We can live on forever.”

Although this track has an immediacy to it, there’s nothing on Fragrant World to touch the feet-bleeding danse de joie accessibility of O.N.E., the lead single from 2010’s equally synth-filled Odd Blood. There are still plenty of hooks and booty-shaking beats, such as the Middle Eastern-flecked dance funk of Damaged Goods. But the genre-melting experimentalism is greater here, the music denser and the lyrics darker, than on their previous LPs.

Reagan’s Skeleton, a political critique with a sound redolent of both The Beloved and Reverend and the Makers, is heralded by the “ah yeahs” of a house track; and another standout, Devil and the Deed, turns into a speedy mash-up of skewed beats, electro noises and synth harpsichord. Yet the band manages to meld all the flotsam and jetsam deftly together, and even inject some heart and soul into a rather cold landscape.

Appreciating this album does admittedly require time and effort, which occasionally isn’t repaid – the old-school flavoured No Bones doesn’t quite work while the lyrics of Folk Hero Shtick’s attack on arrogant, talentless singers seem incongruous. But once you’ve settled into it, Yeasayer’s Fragrant World is a wonderful place to explore.

--Martin Aston

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently YEA!! 6 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD
I've seen variable reviews about this CD and feel that the star ratings are not always doing justice to a five star CD. This is an excellent album - maybe less poppy (instantly catchy) than some of the tracks on the last one but definitely more consistent. Basically you'll have to give it a couple of listens but then the "payback" will come. The thing I really like about Yeasayer is how you suddenly start to hear what sounds like another band or song in one of theirs but before you can place the sound they have moved the track on to another place.
This is one of my top 3 of 2012 (along with Land Observations & David Byrne/St. Vincent) and I would class it as a must listen!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great album - gets better with age 26 Mar 2014
By Antf
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Put quick and simple - I love this album and having bought it within a week of it's release I am still addicted now.
Subtle and imaginative - I can honestly say over half the tracks are amongst my favourite songs, everyone to their own but well worth a few listens and you might get hooked...try 'Damaged Goods' for starters
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeasayer Naysayer 27 Aug 2012
By Gannon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Say what you will about Yeasayer's evolution from wishy-washy freak-beat to 80s pop pushers, but their reluctance to stand still is once again evident on the R&B/funk-leaning Fragrant World. Again the change is likely to alienate the fanbase, both long-time members and newbies alike, but whether it'll attract sufficient new blood to replace those lost remains to be seen.

The switch in direction aside, there is however one fairly large problem with Fragrant World and it is a simple one - there's no smash hit. That's not a problem for many bands, but if you're going to write a pop album it pays to follow convention if you wish to be popular. So, as there's no "Ambling Alp" to help steady this expedition into the mainstream, the task falls to next best thing - in this case "Reagon's Skeleton" - and to be fair it does its best, cruising around with an irresistible squelch beneath playful keys that together suggest at the more recent Rapture material as heard through a Scissor Sisters filter. The underlying funk in "Henrietta" isn't bad neither, latterly lurching off into a chillier early morning mist of shimmering synth and maudlin bass hooks borrowed from the recent Twin Shadow LP.

Elsewhere though it's like leafing through an Ikea catalogue of dry suggestion. Though there's a likeable vein of sleepy electro in "Fingers Never Bleed" it's all a little too studied to be svelte and a little too mute to boogie. It's a similar story for "Blue Paper" where eyes-half-mast R&B manoeuvres rub shoulders with disguised guitar licks and those drum machine snaps that everybody's been using. It's ok but where Chris Keating ought to be delirious he sounds tellingly bored.

The Hot Chip-like fidget-pop of "Longevity" feels dated.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So creative! So unique! 20 Aug 2012
By MrSkull
Format:Audio CD
So happy to be the first one who reviews this. I first got into Yeasayer while listening to Odd Blood, an amazing album that I would recommend to anyone.
Fragrant World marks a bit of a departure from their old ways, an evolution in an unexpected direction. But yet, it makes so much sense. Sonically, Fragrant World is rich, a richness filled with creativity and excitement and this remarkable energy inhabiting the record comes out in every song making this album, in my view, one of the most interesting musical journeys we had this year!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeasayer can't decide what aroma they want to cook on third LP 21 Aug 2012
By Brian E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Consistency is not Yeasayer's strong suit. Sometimes you can listen to their songs and enjoy them for the well-written pop hits they are. But other times you turn them on and wonder what on earth you're listening to. 2010's Odd Blood featured some of the band's most magnetizing singles to date, but at their worst it sounded like they got lost in some nether region between George Harrison and Tears for Fears.

Rather than learn from their mistakes, the Brooklyn electro pop outfit continue plowing forward on their third LP, Fragrant World, and what was once an endearing band is finding themselves increasingly lost in the static.

But they're never lacking for enthusiasm; to the contrary, it's the overambitiousness of Fragrant World that drags it down. The album is incredibly highly digitized, even more so than its predecessor, Odd Blood, which was already heavy on electronic elements. The problem is that they try to do to much, and seem to have difficulty channeling all the layers and little flourishes into a cohesive whole.

There are fruity sounding instrumental sections, elements that seem to clash with one another, and combinations of instruments and electronics that just don't sound well together. The biggest offender is "No Bones," which opens with some dated synths, a backing track that goes in every direction except forward, and slumping vocals which are so heavily digitized it sounds more like machine than man. Even once singer Chris Keating takes the encoding off his vocals, the track still fails to gain any real momentum.

"Demon Road" is fraught with issues of its own. The beat is very hard to take seriously with its half hearted flute and silly bouncy guitar aesthetic. But the final kicker is Keating's throwback boogie vocals, which sound like they were grafted straight off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

"Folk Hero Shtick" can't seem to decide what sort of song it wants to be. It has a creepy intro with just bass and vocals, then turns into a goofy party track when the electronic work kicks in. Along the way there's an awkward acoustic guitar riff pasted into the song at random intervals, in addition to the earsplitting accordion wail.

The vocal arrangements, on the other hand, are much more effective. In pre-release interviews, Keating described Fragrant World as a "demented R&B album." It's not exactly channel ORANGE, but the effect is clear. Compared to their previous work, the hooks here are far groovier and slicker, the bass is more prevalent, and the mixing as a whole tends to favor the bottom end.

Album standout "Fingers Never Bleed" shows off the full power of Keating's croon, while providing the perfect booty shaking opportunity. "Blue Paper" allows guitarist Anand Wilder to take the lead on vocals, and he responds by providing one of Fragrant World's slickest and most funkified tracks. Its only caveat is the clumsily juxtaposed Middle Eastern gospel section near the end, a callback to the band's All Hour Cymbals era which lacks context in this new digitized world they've created.

The type of album they're trying to compose here is one consisting of complex arrangements with lots and lots of layers. It has been done, and much more effectively than what Yeasayer presents here. Orbital have been weaving multitudes of layers into fine patchwork since the early 90s, and Animal Collective have made a career out of crafting the type of organized chaos that Yeasyaer seems to be going for here. But those are both veteran bands who have had their share of missteps along the way. SBTRKT is clear influence, but their work has better mixing and is less hairbrained.

In trying to shift their sound in a new direction they've managed to overcomplicate it, and several songs here sound like towering curmudgeons threatening to collapse in on themselves. It becomes overdigitized to the point that it loses its charm and human touch, two things Yeasayer have always thrived on. Fragrant World delivers that to some degree, but more often than not it is simply a case of trying to fit too much into too small of a space.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY impressed 14 Sep 2012
By slickery - Published on Amazon.com
i got this because i liked several songs on their last album but not the whole thing. and it blew my mind. they've toned down the jam band elements and folky stuff and gone toward a more brooding electro nature. it's VERY boomy too, sick kick and bass for a rock band; almost hip hop low end. if you have a woofer watch out. and the vocals/lyrics have a great flow too. kind of a mix between maynard on puscifer/perfect circle and duran duran or tears for fears if you can imagine. HIGHLY recommend for anyone that likes beats and grooves mixed in with their rock music. there was a band on interscope called Woven about 10 years ago that this reminds me of too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitchfork is wrong 19 Oct 2012
By Mwk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Someone in yeasayer must have offended the editors of pitchfork, because this album is very impressive. Probably the best thing they've ever done, despite the fact nothing is quite on the level of odd blood's singles. But did Pinkerton have anything as catchy as buddy holly? Did exile have anything as immediate as brown sugar? If you like weird psychedelic pop music, then it doesn't get much better than fragrant world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably what you're looking for in a Yeasayer album 23 Aug 2012
By crescendoyear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If you're looking to enjoy yourself, but still want something unique, then this is it. They're not trying to make the next album of the year, they're just doing what they do best...make freakishly catchy indie/electro-pop. The point they had in mind with this album? To show the listener a good f$%#ing time. In the process they manage to challenge you in some spots, so it never feels too straight-forward or boring. I can almost guarantee you'll like it if you're a fan of their previous work, although this is also an excellent place to begin for those new to the band. Here Yeasayer make some infectiously funky, catchy, electronic-laiden, occasionally dark indie-pop. That's the best way I know how to say it. Listen to it with your friends and chill out, or blast it at a party; it works well either way. It is a solid release with virtually no filler (I'm still lukewarm with Demon Road), with some personal favorites being Folk Hero Shtick, Fingers Never Bleed, Blue Paper and Henrietta.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forward thinking, brilliant music 27 Aug 2012
By Usuallee - Published on Amazon.com
So much of music today is looking backwards - the 80's fixation so many artists have had for a decade now, mash-ups, etc. Yeasayer is one band that is actually looking not to regurgitate, but to innovate. That's why Fragrant World, by far Yeasayer's best album to date, is so thrilling to listen to. It doesn't really sound like anything else.

Fragrant World does so many things so effortlessly well. The music is wierd, but very catchy. Many of the tracks have monstrous beats and catchy, if offbeat, choruses. Each song is intricately layered with state of the art studio precision. There is a lot going on below the surface of each song and new details can be noticed with each listen. It's an awesome album to listen to in the dark with a good pair of headphones.

There are only good songs here, but my favorite is probably the gorgeous "Henrietta", which starts off irresistibly funky, downshifts into a beautiful, trippy ambient passage, and then builds to an amazing crescendo. "Reagan's Skeleton", "Longevity", & "Damaged Goods" are also favorites, but it's hard to pick individual tracks, they're all so good, and the album works so well as a whole.

I was disappointed to see some of the lukewarm reviews both here and on various websites. It's perhaps understandible though, there are no tracks that are quite as straightforward & accessible as, say "Ambling Asp" or "Madder Red" from their last album. However, this album is more complex, and ultimately more rewarding as a result. I disagree completely with claims that it is a muddled or unfocused album. Far from it. Yes it's varied, but I believe it's very cohesive and well thought out.

Fragrant World is a wonderful, utterly unique surprise. I was not that big a Yeasayer fan before now. Usually I try to find at least one critical thing to say, but it's hard with this one. The lyrics are hard to decipher, is about the worst thing I can say. It has shot to the top of my best of 2012 list and I enthusiastically recommend it to any fan of electronic or indie music.
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