ALBUM REVIEW: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cools It Down With Futuristic Rock
Born in New York in 2000, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs took their place in the post-punk spotlight as the genre’s leading figures, and they returned after nine long years with cool it down, a cinematic rock experience that shows why so many people cite them as an influence. Karen O (singer, pianist), Nick Zinner (guitarist, keyboardist) and Brian Chase (actor) came out cool it down on September 30, 2022 under Secretly Canadian, the album named after a Velvet Underground song, and it’s a collection of eight tracks of innovative, modern rock.
The album kicks off with “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” a collaboration with Perfume Genius, and its out-of-this-world beat rocks in the best possible way, an iconic synthesizer for YYYs. It’s a song aimed at showing the struggles of young people as they try to navigate a broken world. O slows her pace with Perfume Genius to sing “Mom, what have you done? / I’m tracing your steps / In the darkness of a / Am I what’s left?
The second song, “Lovebomb”, is a nod to psychedelic punk, a slow journey into a dreamlike landscape. The next song, “Wolf,” changes tempo with its steady electro beat in a track about feeling lonely: “I’m lost and I’m alone/ I only hunger for you/ Don’t leave me now, don’t I didn’t break the spell / In heaven, I lost my taste for hell.
“Blacktop”, the sixth title of cool it down, is the slowest on the entire album, a soft rock track about being trapped in a relationship. The song’s slow synth paired with O’s melodic vocals craft a lyrical journey in “Oh, how young and easy I was / At the mercy of its means / Time kept me green and dying / Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”
Throughout the album, YYY follows a pattern of following legato tracks with upbeat and rockable songs, seen in the seventh issue “Different Today”. It’s a modern, regular punk track with O’s repetition of “I feel different today” to describe the band’s musical change from their last album until today. cool it down ends with “Mars”, a piece of spoken word poetry about living a simple life and always seeing the beauty in everything. “I watched my favorite show tonight / The dance that light makes on the ever-changing surface of the sea / The golden tunnel beckons.” Nine years later, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are still asserting their place in the world of modern post-punk with another album poised to take listeners on a futuristic journey that somehow feels like home.