Anyone expecting, or wanting, a carbon copy of Fever to Tell is going to be a little disappointed in this album. Show Your Bones is the second album from a group that have really grown-up since their debut, and produced a far stronger, more enduring record because of it. This isn't selling out, as I've read somewhere, this is musical development. There's an intelligent restraint to this second effort, which shows O and the gang realise they can have just as much effect, and even more, if they tone some things down and allow themselves a bit more musical range. Fever to Tell was only really a single mode of song-writing, but Show Your Bones is a much broader affair. And because it's a bit more restrained, it actually seems angrier in parts. So far, it's maybe my second-favourite album of the year (Dresden Dolls Yes, Virginia... takes first place).
The first half is, admittedly, better than the second, containing all the absolutely great songs (I'd list them, but I may as well just say, all the first 7. And Honeybear is amazing), but the second is very good too. It may even jsut that I just haven't listened to the second half enough. Since I got this it's been on pretty regularly rotation, though i've listened to the first half more because it absolutely blew me away. Maybe once I've listened to the second as much I'll feel the same about the whole thing.
Show Your Bones rocks. It's musically great, vocally inspiring, the guitar-work is more careful, studied, and brilliant. Definitely buy it.