Yeasayer – Fragrant World
While eclectic as ever, Yeasayer’s Fragrant World features plenty of familiar elements; Chris Keating and Anand Wilder’s yearning falsettos, and tight songcraft, undercut by woozy, disorienting sonics. The exuberance of 2010’s Odd Blood has been dialled back on their third album, as has the tempo, but the electro-derived aesthetic remains; mechanical drums and liquid bass grooves dominate the mix, while percussive ticks and whirrs fill out every conceivable space.
The production is glossy and the hooks just keep coming, but it would mean little without the sense of conviction and purpose that is threaded through the album, in the vocals and in the band’s restlessly inventive arrangements. The real achievement on Fragrant World is the absolutely human sense of desolation and loneliness that Yeasayer are able to convey through their synthetic means. Similar in approach to Reproduction -era Human League, It is a fine album from a band with a keen sense of themselves and their strengths.