Yeasayer – Amen and Goodbye
If there’s a suspicion that Brooklyn’s Yeasayer try just a little too hard, it’s not a feeling that their fourth LP is going to disprove; Amen and Goodbye is that strange combination of quirky yet over-polished – pristine pop with all of the interesting spikiness filed down. A succession of musical concepts, interspersed with the occasional instrumental thrown in to warp the context, yet as lead track I Am Chemistry demonstrates, such ideas are scattered indiscriminately – it’s akin to heading out wearing seven or eight scarves.
Much more successful – the slow-burn ballad of Prophecy Gun; the straight-ahead pop of Dead Sea Scrolls – is when the band stop telling us how clever they are, allowing melody and subtlety to take prominence. Yet even then we’re never far away from more gurning at the gallery – Child Prodigy even heads down a medieval pastiche route, for reasons never explained. Yeasayer constantly threaten to come out with a startling album; alas, Amen and Goodbye isn’t it. [Duncan Harman]