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.
on 13 March 2006
I love love love this album, but if you are looking for a follow up to Fever to Tell, then look elsewhere. This album is produced magnificantly (crystal clear) which is quite differnt then their previous album. Drums are insanely strong and, as always, Karen O kicks it with intense vocals. Overall, a great album, jsut not as wild and off the wall as Fever to Tell. I don't even think I hear Karen O scream once!
on 4 December 2006
An amazing album, the finest released this year. Generally more polished than "Fever to tell", it's gorgeous rock, far superior to most of the dross on the radio these days. Beautiful, catchy, energetic, loud rock. Play loud.
on 16 July 2007
"Fever to Tell" was a raw, rowdy, and rambunctious album that demanded your attention. It was an album of manical drumming, booming reverb, and lead vocals that shrieked and shrilled. Ironically, although not irrelevant to this review, its most accessible song "Maps" would prove to be the one that guided the album into the charted waters of popular acclaim.
Why is this relevant? Because The YYYs second full-length album, "Show Your Bones", is a much more mature and structured effort. O's vocals are stripped back, Chase's drumming is kept in check, and Zinner's guitar-playing sticks to the script. So the band's gone and grown up - time to consign them to the footnotes of early 21st century music? Far from it! This is a sophomore album that will give the band much wider appeal, but should keep many earlier fans tuned into what they have to offer.
You could argue that "Maps" provides the bridge between the two albums. However, from the acoustic and gently sung opening bars of "Gold Lion", listeners know that they are in for something new here. The title of the song is a reference to the Gold Prize for Best Use of Music at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, which an Adidas television commercial featuring "Hello Tomorrow," written by Show Your Bones co-producer Squeak E. Clean, with vocals by O, won in 2005. Indeed, the opening lines of this song perhaps suggest some anguish at the loss of indie credibility that such mainstream success may bring:
Gold lion's gonna tell me where the light is, \
Gold lion's gonna tell me where the light is, \
Take our hands out of control, \
Take our hands out of control.
The Pixies are a pervasive influence on the album and fans of Kim Deal's singing will feel very nostalgic when listening to "Way Out" - just listen to how O sings the line "The face ain't making what the mouth needs"!
The other standout song on the album is "Cheated Heart". It has a good hook that O's vocals dance over nicely and the refrain of "I think that I'm bigger than the sound" is instantly recognisable. The song itself appears to be about a relationship about to take a "time out", with the suggestion that both may have a bit on the side. Great if you can get it, I always maintain!
Another track that catches the attenion lyrically is "Warrior", which appears to be about the hardship of being a band on the road, trying to live up to expectations:
Trouble at home \
Travel the way you say \
"The road don't like me" \
Travel it all, travel it all away \
"The road's gonna get on me" \
And I'm small \
The road's gonna get on me \
Well if it gets it all \
The road's gonna end on me
Other tunes well worth hearing are "Honeybear", "Dudley", and "Turn Into". However, a pleasing feature of this album is how different each song sounds from the rest and they all grow on you with a couple of listens.
Not a band that will necessarily write lyrics you then burn into your brain. However, this is an album that will survive frequent playing. If this is the YYYs gone mainstream, then welcome to the club.
on 27 August 2006
It takes a very special debut to create a platform for an album this bold. Then again it takes a very special band to make a debut as bold as Fever to Tell. And as 21st century bands go, you don't get bands much more special than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Energy spills from Karen O's lipstick smudged mouth, as does it through Nick Zinner's senstaional guitar playing. And with these 2 gigantic charecters, the band's records spew with sexual energy and raw angst and emotion.
The lead single from Show Your Bones, Gold Lion, represents the albums bigger, more anthemic sound, while at the same time not revealing the record to anywhere near it's dizzying peaks. It's sing-along "Ooh ooh" chorus makes one of the highlights of this year's festivals. Phenomena is just as sexy but even bigger and bolder and it's chorus holds similar sing-along potential. Mysteries' jerky, bouncy pop/punk is paralell to Pin from the first album and the dirty punk of Fancy also to nods Fever to Tell.
But the more affecting moments on here are the less screaming, punk moments. They are in the songs that progress furthest from Fever to Tell. Towards the end of their debut, the songs began to thaw away the ice-cool punk edge and reveal Karen O as beautifully vulnerable, Maps in particular provides a gateway to some of the bigger moments on this album. Cheated Hearts could well have been lifted from Fever..., it's huge echoing sound mirrors songs like Maps and Y Control. The Sweets and Warrior are similarly powerful, but move away from the towering skyline and bright lights of New York city, and instead towards the open road and the warm light of the campfire. However the best song on here by miles, and arguably the best YYYs moment yet is the epic Turn Into. It starts off another quieter campfire song, before soaring into an epic anthem filled complete with strings, grand piano and an amazing guitar solo from Zinner.
So when Karen O tells you "something like a phenomena", "men they like me 'cos I'm a warrior" or "sometimes I think I'm bigger than the sound" you know she knows what she's talking about. Bigger and arguably better than Fever, Show your Bones progresses hugely into bigger sounds all together whilst staying faithful to everything the YYYs stand for. A perfect second album.
on 25 February 2010
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the very, very few current bands I would place 'up there', in the high echelons of great music, and this is definitely my favourite of their albums so far. Fever to Tell was excellent in places, but I'm not a punk kind of guy, and a lot of it was a little abrasive for my tastes- I'm more about melody than guitar squall and screeching, so unsurprisingly my favourite songs off the first album were Maps and Y Control. This album arguably doesn't have anything quite so nape-tingling as Maps (which, like most people, I still probably consider their best song, though Down Boy comes pretty close), but it is amazingly consistent.
I remember reading a review in some magazine which said the record suffered from filler, and went on to cite Phenomena as an example. Now listen to that song, and think; if that's as weak as it gets.....it's an excellent song, the reviewer must have been criminally insane! There aren't really any weak tracks, it's one of the exceptionally few albums I regularly listen to in its entirety- the only other one that comes to mind is Doolittle by Pixies. Yes, I would actually put it in that esteemed company. My favourite song is probably Honey Bear, but as I said there aren't any that I don't like.
A lot of people were a little thrown by the subsequent synth heavy direction the YYY took; I thought It's Blitz was a worthy follow up, but I'll always be more excited by guitars than electronics, and this album showcases Zinner at his wild and imaginitive best, with less shrieky but no less energetic vocals from Karen O. Essential.
on 29 December 2013
I'm only 16 but I got really into the Yeah Yeah Yeah's when I heard their song "Despair" on the radio last year, so I asked my dad if he would get me their other CD Mosquito for Xmas - However, he also ended up getting me this one also as he said that I might as well hear what they used to sound like and see if I liked their older stuff too.
This CD is amazing! And I think I like it even better than "Mosquito"- another of their albums that I've been completely obsessed with!
Show Your Bones has got a nice sound to it and even people who may not necessarily be into rocky rolly music I think will find it hard to hate this music - Out of all of the tracks I liked "Golden Lion" and "Cheated Hearts" the best as they are just two really feel good songs.
No-one could stay grumpy listening to Karen-O's voice :)
Sooo anyway it's definitely worth a buy in my opinion...And my families just going to have to put up with hearing it on repeat constantly....
P.S Even though it's completely got nothing to do with the actual music their cover art is pretty cool as well including the flags on the inside of the CD cover/booklet.
on 27 May 2009
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs keep pushing themselves further with their second album. Whereas most bands would take the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mantra to producing their follow-ups, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs instead push their boundaries.
The result is an album that twists and turns so much that you never know where each track is going, or where the next track's going to take you. From the light, poppy Gold Lion, Cheated Hearts and Honeybear, to the grungy Phenomena and Fancy, to slower moments (well, until the drums kick in anyway) The Sweets and Warrior, to the absolutely manic Mysteries, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs prove that they are not afraid to brave new areas. Although the lyrics are slightly repetitive, the melodies and song structures are sublime.
Highlights include the infectious Cheated Hearts, the grunged out Fancy and the slow burning The Sweets. The lullaby-like Dudley and the slightly bittersweet Honeybear do let the album down slightly, but ultimately his album showcases the Yeah Yeah Yeahs talents brilliantly and leaves you thinking where else they can take you. This is one musical journey you don't want to end.
on 24 September 2006
altohugh im only 25 i seem to have got myself into time warp where i only like stuff from the lat 80's or early 90's - i find my self raving onto all my kooks, arctic, walkmen, editors, futureheads loving mates about bands fronted by old men called sugar, husker du, dinosaur jr, pixies, minutemen, screeming trees etc etc - it seems i have love for simple guitar orientated alt rock music, - loud thrashing chords, catchy tunes and clever emotional lyrics....
so with the current music climate i am findinf my self on a little bit of driftwood bobbing about with nothing to latch onto.
then all of a sudden im watching mtv 2 and "Turn into" comes on -enien minuten bitte - i thought - this sounds like some good old early 90's alt rock.... but no alast its the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! a band i had heard of but just presumed they were some radio 1 hyped up crap that every one likes coz its "cool"...
well what a foolish boy i have been - at last something to get excited about - this is a fantastic bit of rock -
its been a long long time since i heard some music that sent a shiver down my spine or got me headbanging in the car. i saw them live at the leeds fest and its so refreshingto see a band that revolve their music around the love for the sound of a crashing guitar.
rock music is only just alive again with the Yeah Yeah yeahs holding the elaboratly decorated flag (with the metric supproting it)
on 19 November 2009
Since the 90's finished it is rare to find an album that you can listen to from start to finish and the whole thing was good.
This is definitley one of those rare albums. It didn't make it into the recent NME top 20 albums of the decade unlike another Yeah Yeah Yeahs album - Fever To Tell, but it should have.
Especially considering some of the garbage that got into that chart, for instance The Libertines.
If Show Your Bones is not in your CD collection... it should be!