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Fever to Tell
     

Fever to Tell

4.6 20
by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
 

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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,

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.

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)

Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2003
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0600445098022
catalogNumber:
000034902
Rank:
36097

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Fever to Tell 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of my top 5 favorite albums (3rd to be exact). Maps & Date With The Night are awesome songs. These guys are a great alternative group like the White Stripes but has a little bit of the Strokes in them. i give Fever To Tell 2 thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
And I thought the White Stripes were great!! This is the kind of music you won't ever get tired of. Simply incredible. The critics are right again (as usual)!! Believe the hype!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its kind of like this weird combination of something loud and crazy, and something ethereal. The product is beautiful and rather moving. Its one of those albums that can take you from jumping around screaming to contemplation, all within 40 minutes. It reminds me of Sleater-Kinney, my favorite band.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is true garage punk music, no one really like alternative rock anymore.......but i'm still a fan of it! go YYYs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first anyone's opinion of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was based on what? Five songs?(Master EP) Now there is some actual ground for opinions. This album rocked. With 90's like guitar riffs from Nick Zinner, and the best vocal performance from a girl rocker in a long time by Karen O, this album is a must have if you're an emo fan.I don't understand the parental advisory label though, the only song that majorly cusses is Black Tongue, but when it does, it's PRETTY bad. Besides that songs like "Y control" and "Date With the Night" just blew my mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The YEah Yeah YEahs have moved into my #1 slot of favorite band with this new album! Ive always liked them but Fever to tell blew it out of the water for me. I especially dig "Date with the Night" and "No No No", If you are into The Donnas or Sleater Kinney I think youd totally want to check out the Yeah Yeah Yeahs most recent album
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am one of the few who was not wild about the YYY's first EP with the exception of the fabulous track "Bang". Fever to Tell is awesome though. A fun, extremely listenable record from start to finish. Some great rockers and some sweet balladry. I was disappointed by the latest White Stripes album and the YYY's fill the void well. Where the Stripes opted for Lengthy blues jams and Elton John ripoffs, Fever to Tell recalls the pure fun and reckless energy of the 1st White Stripes album. Right now the YYY's are possibly the most exciting band out there, possibly by far.
Guest More than 1 year ago
oh my lord! the amazing new york trio are simply the best there is; hello who doesnt know this already....sadly those who havent heard of them or a song are simply pathetic. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are so cool, artsy, and magical. the wonderful guitar, drums, and vocals are total power together. Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase kick major music butt. Opening with "rich" and ending with "modern romance"---an explosion and then a wonderful pieceful capture. you will be blown away with every lyric and sound. start now and get this album. the name "fever to tell" itself should speak to you as it is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
yeah yeah yeahs are mega great! something new
Guest More than 1 year ago
i luv this album! Maps is the best song! these guys (& girl) are a awesome alternative band.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Karen O sings exactly like Jack White [from the White Stripes], which i like. Also, creative guitar and drums (just like the White Stripes).
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is only one individual whom Karen O. Much's vocal can be compared to; Siouxie Sioux of Siouxie & The Banshees. Karen where did you hide Siouxie?
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