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Yeasayer – Fragrant World

Friday 12th October / posted by Chris Wheeldon

Review by Danielle Bowler

Secretly Canadian

Brooklyn psych-pop band have released their third album Fragrant World, following on from their previous releases ‘All Hour Cymbals’ and ‘Odd Blood’.

Fragrant World starts out well, with ‘Fingers Never Bleed’ featuring sweet vocals, a heartbeat like bass line and a range of diverse sounds blending together nicely. That’s followed by ‘Longevity’ which has a jerky spaciousness to it, with vocalist Chris Keating throwing around lyrics like “Live in the moment, never count on longevity”. On ‘Henrietta’ Keating also refers to time, singing “we can live on forever”. According to an interview with Keating in SPIN, that track was inspired by an African American woman from Baltimore who had a rare cancerous condition that led to her tumours and cells growing after her death in 1951. These immortal tumours were used to develop a polio vaccine. ‘Reagan’s Skeleton’ continues with the time thread, referring to eternity. It’s a catchy track reminiscent of the electronic sounds of a Commodore 64 game.

Unfortunately while ‘Fragrant World’ has a few sweet moments, it is generally a mish mash of bland, disjointed and similar sounding songs. It’s difficult to not feel disappointed after Yeasayers previous album ‘Odd Blood’, which featured awesome uplifting tracks like ‘O.N.E.’, ‘Ambling Alp’ and ‘Madder Red’. Credit should go to Yeasayer for experimenting and trying something new, but ‘Fragrant World’ is not an album that people will be listening to for eternity.

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