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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Fever to Tell

Release Date: 04.29.03
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


We All Are Gonna Burn In Hell
by: nick evans

Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a lot to live up to on their debut album, Fever to Tell. With tons of hype and even more critical acclaim even before your first album drops, it seems as if it would be nearly impossible to make a stellar album. The release of their self titled EP last year created almost much hype as The Strokes did the year before, and those desperate for something fresh and innovative ate it up. With the release of Fever to Tell, they more than live up to the pressure put upon their shoulders. They made an amazing record that will find itself perched atop many critics' lists at the end of the year.

What makes this record so fresh is the ambitious lead singer, that goes by the name of “Karen O”. Not since the days of early Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders or the Rid of Me-era of PJ Harvey have we had a female sing like this. Karen moans, screams, shouts, and gruels through 37 minutes of raw energy. The lyrics, though feeling “slapped together” are often clever and tongue-in-cheek. (“Boy, you’re just a stupid bitch and girl you’re a no good dick” / “I got a man that makes me wanna kill, yeah we are all gonna burn in hell”) Think the White Stripes meet the Sex Pistols with a female front.

The first single, “Date with the Night”, fortunately isn’t catchy or mild enough to go to mainstream rock radio, but it sure does pack the kind of punch that the dime-a-dozen rock bands on mainstream music today seriously lack. But the true irony of the album is that it takes on double identities, specifically during the last three songs. “Maps” and “Y Control” are two of the best love songs to come out from any artist this year. (“Wait…they don’t love you like I love you”) And after eight songs of Karen O’s ambitious vocals, these songs come warmly welcomed and don’t feel the least bit out of place.

Although 2002 was the year that garage rock broke out into the mainstream, 2003 will be the year remembered for the outstanding garage albums put out. (this album and White Stripes’ Elephant) Even though this album is definitely the most original and innovative album to come out this year, it has its share of influences. This album is heavily influenced by the new wave era of the 1980’s, early Pretenders albums, and vintage punk acts such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols. In the last song, Modern Romance, Karen O states that “People will say all kinds of things, that don’t mean a damn to me.” Well, Karen, you have nothing to worry about. 12-Jun-2003 7:30 PM