Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

This album is like casual sex: messy, with plenty of cheap thrills. But when you wake...

Nick Reynolds 2003

This album is like casual sex: messy, with plenty of cheap thrills. But when you wake up in the morning you think "Did I really do that?" You ask yourself "Is this just a fling? Or is there anything here that will last?"

When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs stormed into the UK from New York last year, everybody cheered. In a so called rock revolution that largely consisted of the usual excess of testosterone and bad heavy metal they were a breath of fresh air. Their stripped down guitar/drums/vocal sound brought some much needed qualities like brevity, intelligence and even wit. Lead singer Karen O is exactly what you want from a rock heroine: feisty, rude, in control but out of control. On the current single "Date With The Night" she rips up the town like a female Godzilla on heat.

This debut album is louder and heavier than their brilliant 5 track CD of last year. There's no denying the impact of the sexy swamp metal of "Cold Light". Or the delirious confusion of "No No No", a track which highlights the bands refreshing ability to try different ideas. You can't imagine the likes of The Datsuns, God forbid, attempting a rock/reggae hybrid but the Yeahs have no problem with it.

But they seem a bit punch drunk with their own sound, and their image as rock animals. Too much of the early part of the album seems a superficial racket. It's only when they calm down and give us "Maps", a lovely power ballad, and the best track on the album, that they reveal their true potential.

There's nothing as good as "Bang" from that very first CD on this album. So I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping Fever To Tell would be a classic, but instead it's just promising. This is a great party record. But for the future, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs need to think a bit more and drink & rock out, a bit less.

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