So, here’s the thing about Yeasayer:
The wheels have fallen off. So gone are they, in fact, that said wheels aren’t even wheels anymore – they’re mere suggestions of rubber, a shadow of the tree or whatever other rubber thing they were first. Back in the rubber womb.
I don’t know.
Internet wayback machine, engage!:
Yo La Tengo’s 2013 release, Fade, is numerically the final ‘regular’ album on this year’s list. As a matter of housekeeping, I have arranged the last 7 to designate the week’s worth of Christmas albums I will be desecrating later this year as part of my CHRISTMAS SPECIALTACULAR IMPACT WEEK (OF JUSTICE) 20-THIRTEEN. More on that to come later.
Fade also marks one of just two appearances by albums released in 2013. And as I alluded to on the other 2013 release, Toro y Moi’s stellar Anything in Return, there’s a good reason I chose to include an album released on January 15.
That reason? Because Yeasayer’s Fragrant World is terribad.
The original #358, Yeasayer’s third album, is so bad that, after a bit of reconsideration, it’s the single record to be completely removed after being on the original list. That release was as disappointing as the latest Animal Collective album, Centipede HZ. Which is something we as listeners should have seen coming, considering how the wheels started to fall off on Fragrant World’s predecessor, Odd Blood, around the 6th track.
Thus, Fade sneaks in.
I stand by my statement.
I don’t get it. I don’t. The electro-manipulating, psych-rock group had something really good going. The first half of their 2010 release Odd Blood is so on point. The haunting robotic vocals on “The Children,” the fun, 80s synth pop-influenced “Ambling Alp,” the infectious, cascading howls on “Madder Red,” the stupid good fake drums on “O.N.E.” – it’s almost unfair that the rest of the record sounds like it was slopped together in one acid-addled evening. I don’t understand.
Don’t even get me started on Fragrant World.
From the last half of an album that was listenable, this is “The Children” –
Standout tracks: “Ambling Alp,” “Madder Red,” and “ONE”
Weakest track: What even are the last three tracks (“Strange Reunions,” “Mondegreen,” and “Grizelda”) of this record? What planet is this?
RIYL: You know how sometimes you make brownies or cookies and somewhere along the way you get really sidetracked and end up with an unforgiving crust and a mushy inside? That.