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Hysterical

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Music

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Photos

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Biography

It has been 10 years since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah started, and they’re about to release their fourth record, Only Run. Like the previous three, CYHSY will market and distribute the album independently. From the get go, this ethos struck a chord with fans, but it was merely an extension of lead singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth’s core belief: “The general rule is to be ... Read more in Amazon's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Sep 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 Coop
  • ASIN: B0057FWQN2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Same Mistake
2. Hysterical
3. Misspent Youth
4. Maniac
5. Into Your Alien Arms
6. In A Motel
7. Yesterday, Never
8. Idiot
9. Siesta (For Snake)
10. Ketamine and Ecstasy
11. The Witness' Dull Surprise
12. Adam's Plane

Product Description

BBC Review

Searing synth strings. That's the overwhelming memory after listening to Hysterical a few times. It seems to swamp the entirety of the album, a sweeping hand of majesty. Apart from that, not a lot has changed musically from the group's 2005 self-released debut. Lauded at the time by everyone from Pitchfork to NME, the formula of jangly guitars and maudlin sentiments wasn't at all fresh, but the unpretentiousness of it delighted many. Hysterical does little to alter this. The aforementioned synths wash over the whole thing, but it's a blur made up of arpeggios, distortion and echo. It's all held together admirably by John Congleton, a producer whose own work with The Paper Chase expertly blended viciously disparate ideas.

Luckily CYHSY mainman Alec Ounsworth's way of singing a melody already has an inbuilt ambiguity; it winds around the elementary music sounding resigned, sad but putting on a brave face. When he hits an ascendant, like at a third of the way through Yesterday, Never, it's hard not to feel your heart lift in time. The title-track is a driving four-chord howl, a lament in the sunshine, and so this slalom of moods continues throughout the album. Misspent Youth and Adam's Plane are embellished with piano, while Maniac works around a burbling five-note synth burp; along with the title-track, these are the standout songs. The rest fill the album adequately, but really only serve to further embed that keyboard massage that glues everything together.

Misspent Youth is particularly poignant, the ripples of discordance and fading echo in the middle like shattering a fond flashback. Though the arrangement still sounds dense, Ounsworth's vulnerable vocal brings an intense melancholy to the song. Adam's Plane is a sobering closer - seemingly about the death of a friend or relative in a plane crash, or perhaps a rather morbid metaphor - with the drums sounding particularly bare and vicious. It all dissolves into a suitably messy conclusion.

There's that genuinely disappointing sense of having heard this before, whether it be on 2007's Some Loud Thunder, their debut, or in countless other bands. Yet there's still a spark here that holds interest for a few listens. Whether it's the Marmite quality of Ounsworth's voice or wading into these songs swimming with guitars and noises, there will be something here to enjoy; though whether it will fade fondly into your memory is doubtful.

--Brad Barrett

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Back in the game 13 Sep 2011
By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
3.5 stars

There is a "holy grail" for discerning music fans, a pursuit that demands a never-ending quest for that band which enters the zeitgeist and somehow builds on the legacy of Talking Heads and takes it forward. David Byrne's seminal outfit were smart, intellectual, erudite, boundary busting and most of all cool as permafrost with unit sales to match. Was it any wonder that they were favourite group of Bret Easton Ellis's demented anti hero Patrick Bateman in the uber black comedy "American Psycho"? In 2006 the Brooklyn five piece "Clap your Hands and Say Yeah" (CYHSY) started a ramshackle DIY internet operation to ship their album from their front room and all of a sudden become a sensation. The ghost of Talking Heads was invoked with David Byrne and David Bowie almost falling over themselves to endorse their eponymous self titled debut. This was entirely understandable since on songs like "Over and Over again (lost and found)" and the "The Skin Of My Yellow County Teeth" they produced urbane sparkling pop music with Alec Ounsworth's vocals straying dangerously close to Byrne's but staying the right side of pastiche. It all promised a future so bright that they needed to wear shades.

Sadly you know what comes next. In 2007 the CYHSY released their second album "Some loud thunder" and it was a truly sorry sophomore stinker and they slipped from view. After a four year gap it would be pleasing to report that their third proper album "Hysterical" marks a return to the diamond form of their debut but not quite. Still it is a very accomplished effort and one, which does take them much closer to the mainstream following the experimental mish mash of "Some Loud Thunder". Opener "Same mistake" is packed with jingling guitars, pounding drums and concrete slabs of synths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phew...they`ve still got it 3 Dec 2011
By Little Cat Voom TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Like most sane people, I adored Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, with it`s striking new sound and fantastic lyrics and song titles ("The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth", "Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood" - pure genius). Like even more sane people, I was disappointed by Some Loud Thunder (apart from "Satan Said Dance", the closest anyone has got to depicting a really unbearable hell).

I still listened to the debut reasonably often, but can`t say I`d been constantly looking out for their third release. But I still felt a strongish sense of loyalty to Alec and the boys, and I`m glad that has translated into buying this - it`s a slightly changed sound, but the quirkiness and originality is back. The most striking thing is that Alec Ounsworth`s voice sounds a lot more...commercial? That`s hardly the right word, I accept that, but it`s definitely less likely to offend the casual listener. The music seems more...produced? Again, not really the right word but it`s a little sharper and polished, more synth than guitar, but not so much that it would offend the fanbase. And the important thing is that there are some really great songs here.

"Hysterical", for one; great lyrics delivered breathlessly, a really powerful song that I fell in love with right away. Opener "Same Mistake" is a good start, "Ketamine and Ecstasy" another up-tempo, almost rocking song, and "Into Your Alien Arms" and "Idiot" suggest they spent a lot of time crafting this record. There isn`t anything weak, just degrees of good, so I can happily listen from beginning to end. It`s absolutely worth buying, and whilst there isn`t as many stunners as the debut album, there are at least three or four songs that would make a best-of, and in a few months maybe there`ll be seven or eight.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Smashing Return, 19 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD
WOW!
I love it and it's made me sooooooo happy! :-
I so wanted this album to be as good as their previous two because I honestly thought that they could fade into obscurity after how poorly received ''Thunder'' was.
Glad to say that this is as melodic and fresh as anything they have previously achieved,perhaps a little more accessible BUT all the better for it...it's still mental....it's still a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah party,thankfully.
A blast.
Chuffed!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Clap Your Hands 9 Nov 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Some good bits but a bit patchy. They have not used some of the great sounds that made Clap Your Hands such a quirky and enjoyable CD. Some very good lyrics.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical 3 Nov 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album was recommended to me by Amazon and i'm really glad i bought it. It is definitely one that gets better the more you listen to it. I would kind of liken it to Athlete/Kasabian. I will be buying their next album.
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