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Yeasayer's Erotic Reruns is rich with addictive charm

"Erotic Reruns"

Release date: 07 June 2019
Yeasayer erotic reruns
06 June 2019, 12:48 Written by Christopher Hamilton-Peach
Fusing pristine electro-pop accessibility with subtle experimentalism, this fifth LP finds the New York trio flexing familiar style-flitting credentials and flaunting the finesse that underpins their longevity.

During a thirteen-year tenure, the Brooklyn-based outfit have gravitated between periods of pure neo-psychedelic pomp and intermittent radio-friendly melodicism in a mercurial trend shared with contemporaries such as MGMT. However, where other alternative-inclined acts from the mid to late noughties have faded, as a series of footnotes into the fickle pages of music history, Yeasayer betray an undimmed vitality and lustre which has garnered continued interest and airplay since their full-length 2007 debut.

Erotic Reruns represents an accumulation of their back catalogue, rooted in a menagerie of sounds; a revitalisation, rather than a rehash, of a journey which has seen the band gradually pursue a more polished synth-orientated trajectory. As follow-up to oracular opus Amen & Goodbye, crystalline concision prevails where the latter revelled in glistening sprawl. An assuredness is discernible on this record; the worldbeat intonations which graced All Hour Cymbals are comprehensively traded for futurist vigour, showcasing an evolving sense of realignment, rather than, what could be disingenuously branded, capitulation to commercial appeal.

A glow radiates throughout the nine-track album length, of which Chris Keating’s distinctive vocals permeate with prismatic precision; harmonies coalescing in a singular synthesis. The unadulterated bubblegum bounce of “Crack A Smile” introduces infectious momentum, hinting at the three-piece’s glimmering songwriting scope. “I’ll Kiss You Tonight” exults in off-kilter traction, blurring between Modern Guilt-era Beck inflections and Beatlesque interludes, while “Ohm Death” palpitates with a propulsive bassline; its throbbing funk-tinged heartbeat lending subversion to an oppressive core of unease. Sharply apt commentary on the Trump administration is delivered in the form of “24-Hour Hateful Live!”, “Sarah Sanders propagandist / Goebbels might be her true Pa” adorning its hyperactive rhythm, closing with “Fluttering In The Floodlights”, surrealist influences namechecked amidst slick overtones: “She’s in a movie / Felliniesque and wild”.

Testament to its addictive charm, Erotic Reruns leaves the listener yearning for an extension to the album’s near half an hour running time. Succinct three-minute songs pepper its jaunty ex tent; a blueprint that serves as a reminder that the band can alternate between brevity and lavishness with dexterity. Straddling eclectic unpredictability and hook-laden gleam, this effort sees the three-piece honing their sonic palette, as they have previously achieved with equal success in their oeuvre.

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