One of the frontrunners during the 2000s phase of Alternative and Indie Rock, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have built an award-winning career. Steadily moving forward since 2000, with a brief hiatus between 2014 and 2017, the band, led by Karen O (vocals, piano), Nick Zinner (guitar, keyboards), and Brian Chase (drums), emerged yet again in 2022 with their fifth album, Cool It Down.
Released on Friday September 30th, via Secretly Canadian, Cool It Down marks their first full-length album in nearly a decade. A long time coming, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fifth overall studio album takes you to a laidback soundscape of their sonic style, expressing their personal experiences since the last offering, 2013’s Mosquito.
A total of eight new songs, Cool It Down opens with the lead single, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” which sounds off the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ take on the issue of global warming. It is then followed by the ethereal, star-gazing vibe of “Lovebomb,” exuding echoes of Phantogram’s “Run, Run Blood” and Lana del Rey’s “Dark Paradise.” This is before ensuing “Wolf” then undulates its oceanic rhythm, only to take you afterwards to a higher plane of angularity with “Fleez.”
Moving along, the glittery “Burning” invites you for a trip onto the dancefloor, whereas “Blacktop” beats and pulses its sonic splinters impassionedly. Thereafter another Sophisti-pop-glazed ballad plays in the form of “Different Today,” tackling the current state of the world at large. Finally, Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrap up the album with “Mars” which is rather spacey, telegraphic, and very apt.
In the current soundscape of Rock music, making a name for yourself has inevitably become challenging. This is considering the countless number of new groups that have been working hard to make their mark. Lucky for bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they have a good head start. However, this does not mean that the trio are resting on their laurels. Their having released a new record is itself admirable and deserving of recognition. Moreover, Cool It Down is as potent and valuable as any of its predecessors. That is why Cryptic Rock gives the long overdue album 4 out of 5 stars.