Album Review: The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Cool It Down
Peyton Morgan | On 11, Nov 2022
The New York City trio make a scintillating return as they elegantly pave a new era for the band.
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s return proves to be worth the wait after being left with 2013’s “Mosquito” as the career low in their whole discography. After what seemed to be a never-ending wait for the band to get back into the studio, they have graced us with some of 2022’s best indie music. Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase come together for a marvelous fusion of Indie Rock and Dream Pop.
Bands like The Strokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and LCD Soundsystem all dominated New York City’s music scene in the 2000s. In addition, another notable name from that music scene, “TV On The Radio’s” Dave Sitek, is one of the producers on this album. Similar to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes came back in 2020 after a long hiatus releasing “The New Abnormal” which is a name that goes hand in hand for an album released in the beginning phases of the pandemic. The Stroke’s comeback turned out to be more than well received in an era where rock wasn’t doing as commercially well as other genres. To add a cherry on top, they finally got a long overdue Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. Yeah Yeah Yeahs comeback proves to be praised just as much as The Strokes and “Cool It Down” is proof of that.
The album takes flight while easing you in with the single “Spitting Off The Edge Of The World.” Inspired by climate control, the song delivers powerful and blissful synths that are reminiscent of the electronic band M83 and features fellow artist Perfume Genius. While Perfume Genius’s feature on this song is short, it’s vivid and impactful. Karen O’s vocals and lyrics call out for people to rise against the climate problems. This track was the perfect single to open up the album, setting the mood for listeners.
Although “Lovebomb” feels like an overly long interlude, it doesn’t diminish the sweet and soft vocals of Karen O and the synth’s serene mood. While the synths were great, the simple instrumentation could’ve been fleshed out a little more. Overall, the track is still one to be enjoyed as it is therapeutic to the ears.
The biggest highlight on the entire album, “Wolf”, starts off with vulnerable lyrics and a great tempo set by Brian Zimmers drumming. The song breaks off from the chorus into soul elevating orchestral synth strings that can blow minds. Karen O’s delivery is such a weapon on this track as it goes to show again that her performance is hauntingly beautiful throughout this album.
Halfway through the album, “Fleez” gives us a brash synth sound inflamed by a funk bass. While the bass and the synth go together really well, the drumming was somewhat lacking Karen O’s vocal performance barely makes up for where the drums lack. Yet the track is still amazing, barely affecting it as a whole.
The second single that was released “Burning” is inspired by The Four Seasons; Karen O & Nick Zinner having appreciation for Frankie Valli’s songwriting. “Lay your red hand on me” is a lyric taken from The Four Seasons song “Beggin.” They continue onward from “Fleez” with a rough & fuzzy guitar sound that explodes from the ominous opening of this piano-driven track upheld by the best drumming on the entire album. It is insanely addictive to listen to and one of the major tracks in the spotlight of this album alongside “Wolf.”
“Blacktop,” is the low point of this album. While the trio tries to recline their seats a bit, it is not supported enough for it to be the casual and relaxing song that it attempts to be. This is an area where the earlier track “Lovebomb” triumphs where “Blacktop” doesn’t.
“Different Today” slightly makes up for “Blacktop.” Nothing really commands attention with this track other than its lyrics & vocals. Nothing can be said much about the instrumentals as they were not appealing in the least bit. Without a doubt they could’ve stood out more. The album ends with “Mars” as it’s a somewhat fitting send off for the album and serves as the outro with a short soliloquy.
With all aspects taken into account, this is a magnificent and suitable comeback for the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. While some composition on the second half of this album left something to be desired, the trio still came through after the two exhilarating singles and redeeming themselves from 2013’s “Mosquito” album. I’m left wanting more from them, however I’m still pleased with what they have done on this record. However long they take on their next project it is definitely one to keep on your radar.