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Released: February 2004

One of those ballads that’s transcended indieville to the point where people who’ve never heard another Yeah Yeah Yeahs song in their life would be like ‘oh yeah, that one, I loooooove that’, where you hear it on emotional teen dramas on the telly, where it’s on bloody Guitar Hero, given the amount of times we’ve all listened to it drunk and teary, we should all be sick to death of ‘Maps’ by now. The fact that we’re not even close is testimony to its masterful control. Especially given the hairy histrionics that we know Karen and the boys are capable of, the restraint here is what kills. “I exposed myself so much in that song, I shocked myself” Karen told Rolling Stone, and from her real tears in the video to her beautifully broken delivery, she’s the sad and solitary star here, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner keeping drums and guitar sensibly subdued while Karen mangles your heart, until the crashing climax brings the curtain down on the tragic heroine. Put it on again, will you, and pass the gin. (EM)

 

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