Feature

Yeasayer: Fragrant World

There are wonderful moments on Fragrant World, but mostly the music feels “micromanaged” and emotionally detached.

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A band usually deserves praise for refusing to repeat itself, said Ian Cohen in Pitchfork.com. With its third album, the band Yeasayer instead has proven not only that it’s capable of producing an unremarkable song but that it can make “11 of them in a row.” Beginning with its 2007 debut album, this Brooklyn trio put out an “excellent run of singles” that were generally characterized by “spirited, can-do lyrics, sweeping harmonies, and deliriously stacked arrangements.” But the band adopted a pared-down synth-pop sound here, and the results rest “in a tentative middle ground.” There are wonderful moments on Fragrant World, said Mike Powell in Spin. But mostly the music feels “micromanaged” and emotionally detached, with the band’s fussiness getting in the way of some beautiful melodies. Clutter is what we’re left with. “It’s exhausting, and it makes the music feel almost absent from itself, like a person who talks endlessly around a point they’re trying to make.”

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