Fever to Tell

Fever to Tell

4.6 20
by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

One of the more compelling bands to emerge from New York City in a long, long time, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an angular garage-rock trio with a definite locus to their sound: singer Karen O. Much like a post-postmodern Marie Osmond, she's a contradictory girl -- she's a little bit new wave, suggesting the sass of Debbie Harry, and a little bit screaming harridan,… See more details below

Overview

One of the more compelling bands to emerge from New York City in a long, long time, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an angular garage-rock trio with a definite locus to their sound: singer Karen O. Much like a post-postmodern Marie Osmond, she's a contradictory girl -- she's a little bit new wave, suggesting the sass of Debbie Harry, and a little bit screaming harridan, evoking the angst of PJ Harvey -- and that dichotomy is what drives the band's intense, often harrowing sound. They approach their music with a stripped-down fury that's psychically similar to the White Stripes -- in that Fever to Tell is a bass-free zone -- but aesthetically much closer to the rowdier post-punk acts of the late '70s. The trio are at their best when all three simply let it rip, as on the ricocheting "Tick" and the stammering, stomping "No No No." Midway through the more overdriven numbers, it can seem as if everything's set to fall apart -- but even when O lapses into apoplectic near-gibberish, as she does on the manic "Black Tongue," a few jolts from Brian Chase's snare drum assert an order that borders on the Ramones-esque. While not quite as potent when navigating more placid territory, such as the droning "Modern Romance," the Yeah Yeah Yeahs nearly always leave a room -- and a head of hair -- more disheveled and sweat-soaked than before their arrival. And that's most assuredly a good thing.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
On their EPs, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs grew considerably, moving from the arty yet anthemic garage punk of their self-titled EP to Machine's angular urgency. Fever to Tell, their first full-length and major-label debut, also shows growth, but for the first time the band doesn't sound completely in control of the proceedings. Their EPs were masterful studies in contrast and economy, balancing just the right amounts of noise, melody, chaos, and structure within 15 to 20 minutes. At 37 minutes long, Fever to Tell sounds, at different times, scattered and monotonous. Most of this is due to poor sequencing -- the album opens with some of the raunchiest noise the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have ever recorded, then abruptly changes gears and delivers a kitchen sink's worth of pretty ballads and experimental pieces. Both the old and new sides of the band's sound offer brilliant and frustrating moments: "Rich" is a sneering sugar-mommy story; "Black Tongue," which features the great lyric "let's do this like a prison break," is almost Hasil Adkins-esque in its screwed-up sexuality and rockabilly licks. "Date with the Night," a rattling, screeching joy ride of a song, combines Karen O's unearthly vocals, Nick Zinner's ever-expanding guitar prowess, and Brian Chase's powerful drumming in dynamic ways. Not so good are the insanely noisy "Man" and "Tick," which have enough volume and attitude to make the Kills and Jon Spencer turn pale, but also sound like they're coasting on those qualities. The moody, romantic songs on Fever to Tell are the most genuine. "Pin" and "Y Control" have a bittersweet bounciness, while the unabashedly gorgeous, sentimental "Maps" is not only among the band's finest work but one of the best indie/punk love songs in a long, long time. Along with "Modern Romance," a pretty but vaguely sinister meditation on the lack thereof, these songs compensate for some of Fever to Tell's missteps (such as "No No No," a lengthy, halting mishmash of punk and dubby experimentalism). Perhaps they should've included some of their tried-and-tested songs from their EPs, but for a group this mercurial, that would probably be stagnation. Though this is their debut album, Fever to Tell almost feels like a transitional release; they're already rethinking their sound in radical ways. Even when they're uneven, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are still an exciting band.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
"Fever to Tell" is a revelation: a reminder that one of the most entertaining rock 'n' roll bands around is also one of the most inventive.
Entertainment Weekly - Josh Tyrangiel
[Karen] O howls and growls her way through 37 minutes of art-school punk with enough strapped-on swagger to make Mick Jagger blush. (B)

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2003
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0600445098022
catalogNumber:
000034902
Rank:
20006

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >