I don’t get Fragrant World. I just don’t get it.
I’m trying to understand what Yeasayer are going for, but I can’t get into it. There is no depth of sound, no real depth of emotion and I’m just left feeling empty and slightly awkward.
Imagine if you will that you’re at a local show. There are three bands playing that night and these guys are the first. They go on, they’re totally into it but everyone is looking at their shoes, sipping their drinks and as far away from being front and centre as possible. It’s the type of music where at face value, everyone should be dancing; there are plenty glittery synth lines and electro-world dance beats that everyone is so into… but there’s a disconnect.
Fragrant World technically has all the elements for a good electronic album but I think that’s just the problem, it’s formulaic. They’ve really narrowed down what it is that they think people will like and put it all together; they aimed to please and that was their downfall. Electronic music has becoming such an undeniable trend these days that for a band to separate themselves from the pack they really need to do something that people have never heard before. In 2007 when Yeasayer’s first album, All Hour Cymbals came out, I don’t think the demand to really be intentionally different was so prevalent, but in 2012 there needs to be a certain wow factor and I don’t think Yeasayer rise to the occasion this time.
Take Devil and the Deed for example, the verses are dull, the chorus is boy band-y and lacking depth. It sounds like a demo version, something unfinished that is being primed for more layers and more edge but what we are actually getting is an easy song that has been found wanting.
I think the problem with Fragrant World is Yeasayer are simultaneously trying too hard and not hard enough.