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Album review: Yeasayer, "Odd Blood"

By David Malitz

"Odd Blood," the second album from Brooklyn trio Yeasayer, might mark a watershed moment for indie-jam band crossovers. Borough mates such as TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear have already infiltrated long-standing hippie gathering Bonnaroo, sharing the bill with the likes of Phish and Ben Harper. Animal Collective showcased the first official Grateful Dead sample on its latest EP. But you know the trend has hit a new low when a blog-championed band's main influence on its (hopeful) breakthrough album is second-string '90s patchouli gang Rusted Root.

(Light and fluffy, after the jump.)

Like those forgotten drum-circle enthusiasts, Yeasayer plays it light and loose. A little too much so. The lyrics are mostly empty, optimistic slogans ("You must stick up for yourself son / Nevermind what anybody else done," "Don't give up on me and I won't give up on you") that accurately reflect the general fluffiness of the music. These are carefree, close-your-eyes-and-twirl- around tunes, even if they are built on '80s synth sounds instead of the organic instrumentation favored by H.O.R.D.E. Festival veterans.

There are exceptions, such as "O.N.E." and "Ambling Alp," that are noteworthy for both their infectiousness and audacity. The songs explode in technicolor compared with the relatively muted palette used on the band's debut CD, "All Hour Cymbals." But the rest of the album is splotchy, the dual influences of indie rock and jam-band dippiness failing to work in harmony. There are too many cascading harmonies, rolling rhythms and gurgling keyboards for the songs to leave an impression.

Recommended Tracks: "O.N.E.," "Ambling Alp"

Listen to the entire album at Yeasayer's MySpace page

By David Malitz  |  February 2, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Yeasayer  
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