Review

Yeasayer

Fragrant World

Mute • 2012

When Yeasayer released their first record with public appeal, »Odd Blood«, tracks like »O.N.E.« shone especially with their intangibility, created by a circular, intuitive and permanently oscillating songwriting, comparable to Dirty Projectors. The playful, airy songs eventually gave room for a hook line, serving as an anchor between the inscrutable, shimmering arrangements. »Fragrant World«, on the other hand, is a much gloomier, much more down-to-earth record, but most of all, a much more compact one. The floating sounds have been captured, which initially leads to a loss in their light-footedness. The synthz, most of all, are permanently looking for continuous ostinatos, and the songs’ structures are organized in a much more classic manner. All that works well on the instrumental level, which is why »Fragrant World« appears to be remarkably smooth and coherent there. Then again, the vocals typical to Yeasayer don’t seem to feel comfortable in that sort of surrounding, hook lines are conjured tensely, but they never get the chance to push through. This way, one of the band’s biggest qualities is nipped in the bud – Yeasayer are suffocation themselves. Those who want to experience Yeasayer playing free and liberated should have a listen to »Tightrope«, their contribution to the »Dark Was The Night«-compilation, because even after their third studio album, this song still beats them all.