Before the release of their third studio album, as a fan of their music, I’d say pretty confidently that the Yeasayer’s finest works to date were the tunes they put forth on Odd Blood. Upon hearing their most recent release, Fragrant World, I will be sticking with that sentiment. Neither horrible nor unlistenable, it saddens me to say that this record just seems like a huge, steaming mile of mehh. Sure, it’s dancey. And it will probably inspire some remixes to further that vibe, but there aren’t any tunes like, say, “Ambling Alp” that really inspired you to hit repeat on one track let alone the entire album. There are some okay songs, though, don’t get me wrong. On “Reagan’s Skeleton” those dark, creepy vocals are finally featured in a way they should be on every track, but it still seems to lack the substance I’ve personally come to expect from Yeasayer. “Demon Road” is another example of a song starring that strange set of pipes fans have come to adore. The quirky tune is of equally piqued interest, but it’s yet another track that seems like it could have been taken to the next level by the obvious musical genius that we’re seen come from this group before. “Henrietta” is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a jam-worthy tune on Fragrant and even it didn’t inspired me add it to my “Song I Love So Much I Must Listen to Them Until I Hate Them” playlist. The only track that’s clearly due some credence on this record is “Glass of the Microscope.” Slower than the rest on this amalgam, it’s also much more ethereal. I’d like to say if they make a record full of songs like “Glass,” it’d be a much better one, and perhaps it would be, but it still would come no where close to topping Odd Blood.
Worth a Listen: “Reagan’s Skeleton” and “Longevity”