Yeasayer's O.N.E. was a joy, propelled along its deceptively sad path by summery bounce and charisma. In the two years since, they've been tinkering with their oddball formula, venturing into more experimental areas. The first half of Fragrant World plods around self-indulgently, and No Bones veers all over the place, beginning with a chopped-up Bollywood melody and ending up as a sneering, Nine Inch Nails industrial stomp. But the halfway point marks a clear shift in quality, as if they finally rediscovered their pop sensibility. Demon Songs is louche and dreamy, and Damaged Goods pulsates with menace, but it's the intriguing Folk Hero Schtick that really stands out. It leaves you wondering who inspired them to write this deliciously spiteful song of "fairweather friends", "bullshit" and "swelled heads", with a final request to "pack it in, please pack it in".
Yeasayer: Fragrant World – review
Rebecca Nicholson is a columnist for the Observer and the Guardian