Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
NME.COM feature on Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz! album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 13 March 2009
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!: Wikipedia Album Entry
It's Blitz! is the third studio album by American indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, released March 9, 2009 on Interscope Records. It was originally set for release on April 13, 2009, however after being leaked to the internet on February 22, the release date was pushed forward to March 9 for the digital version and March 31 for the physical version. The rest of the world release date was on April 6, 2009. The first single "Zero" was released on February 24, 2009. The album was produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire, Talking Heads, PiL), along with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.
The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album on December 2, 2009.
According to Nick Launay, one of the two producers, the recording of the album was unusual for being largely written and created in the studio at a time when record labels have cut back considerably on production budgets. The few songs the band did take along to the first sessions were later altered significantly. Launay described a typical session as follows:
"Brian would play lots of different drumbeats and we'd record it, chop it up and then make a groove loop out of it. Nick (Zinner) would then just jam to it, and we'd come up with an interesting rhythm part. Karen would listen to that and come up with a vocal melody and then suddenly everything would fall into place."
The album sessions took place over several months in 2008, during which time there were numerous breaks "to get inspired".
The album has been very well received by critics, having a weighted average rating of 82/100 (Universal acclaim), according to Metacritic, based on 36 reviews. The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan gave it 4 out of 5 stars and commended the band's more dance-oriented sound, writing "the band's glittery new disco sound suits them very well. It's all cool, brittle catchiness, with a debt owed to Eat to the Beat-era Blondie". Emily Mackay of NME gave the album an 8/10 rating and wrote that "It's Blitz!'s heartfelt love letter to the transcendent possibilities of the dancefloor is an unexpectedly emphatic reassertion of why Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the most exciting bands of this decade", while Spin's Charles Aaron said that it is "the alternative pop album of the decade—one that imbues The Killers' Hot Fuss and MGMT's Oracular Spectacular with a remarkable emotional depth and finesse". Later that year, Spin would place the album second on their best albums of 2009 list. Meanwhile, in a track-by-track preview of the album, The Fly said that It's Blitz! is "an amazing return for Yeah Yeah Yeahs... an instant classic", later giving the album a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
The BBC called the album "a triumphant return for New York's finest". Clash commented that the trio had achieved growth without distancing themselves from what made their name: "The album proves that they can provide epic music with personal themes, that YYYs can expand without losing what made us fall for them in the first place". Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the band "grapple with separation and need, using dance beats to suggest the compulsive pleasure seeking that tries to drown out loneliness", and he commended their musical direction, stating "The band is echoing the evolution of postpunk, from dogmatic austerity to technologically assisted". However, Tiny Mix Tapes commented, "From most bands, half of a great record would be an incredible accomplishment, but we’ve heard so much better from them" and awarded the album 2.5/5. Nick Butler of Sputnikmusic, while praising the album with an overall score of 3.5/5, summarized the album will "probably date badly and, despite clearly being better than Fever to Tell, it probably won't be remembered by as many people, or as fondly by those people". Uncut's April Long gave it 4 out of 5 stars and praised its "spirit of experimentation", stating "What unifies them is a warm romanticism that runs throughout, edging out Karen’s blatant eroticism of yore – even though there are more come-downs than come-ons, every song seems to glow from within".
It's Blitz! was ranked as the third best album of the year 2009 by NME and second best by Spin. Both magazines also listed the song "Zero" as the best of the year.
Rhapsody called it the 12th best album of 2009.
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