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Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Show Your Bones

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Show Your Bones

Release Date:2006

By Anthony Miccio | Posted 4/19/2006

Sometimes a classic album doesn’t signify the arrival of a vanguard artist. Fever to Tell, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ full-length debut, wedded the Pretenders’ pop sensuality with the Stooges’ primal thrust, creating a fully formed lustbomb that captured both the excitement of a stolen moment and its vulnerable aftermath. But having created definitive party-starters and power ballads, it wasn’t clear what territory was left for the band to tread. Could it keep drawing on the inspiration of big big love or would it have to rewrite the script entirely? After listening to Show Your Bones, it’s not even clear which is being attempted.

It’s not that Nick Zinner and Brian Chase can’t push the sound or that Karen O no longer has one of the most infectious yelps in the business, but in adding overdubs and polish to increasingly meandering songwriting, they’ve revealed how much harsh clarity had to do with what made them remarkable. Even on catchier numbers like “Gold Lion” and “Dudley,” it’s hard to tell Karen from Metric, Tegan, Sara, or the girl from Love Is All—no crime in indieland, but something that’s hard to mistake for ambition or evolution. It’s possible that Show Your Bones is a transitional record, but it’s also possible that we’re looking at inertia and autopilot.

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