Yeasayer - Fragrant World
Brooklyn trio's third album not as cool as their promo techniques suggest
In a nice act of retro direct-to-fan promo, Yeasayer surprised 200 faithful followers by posting them (remember post?) advance copies of Fragrant World’s lead single ‘Henrietta’ and encouraging them to share it. And yet the Brooklyn trio don’t come across like a fans’ band on their third album, so much as one overeager to impress peers and critics.
The awkward direction-shift revealed here over a long 50-minutes – away from the exotic, celebratory synth-pop of 2010’s Odd Blood, to a fully-electronic form of glitchy, gloopy psychedelia and dance – feels very self-conscious: otherwise catchy tunes technologically deconstructed for simple difference’s sake. It leaves an album defined less by its fleeting great moments – the fluid groove of ‘Fingers Never Bleed’, the bonkers-fun ‘Reagan’s Skeleton’ – than the joyless mass of material fussily reduced to B-side remix memorable blandness.