Yeasayer, "Odd Blood"

80 Billboard Rating

Brooklyn-based rock act Yeasayer gained acclaim with its 2007 debut, "All Hour Cymbals," by achieving an impressive balance between world-influenced, experimental noise and disciplined, memorable pop-rock. For its sophomore effort, "Odd Blood," Yeasayer has maintained its standards of hybrid artistry. But like a number of its indie-rock contemporaries, the outfit has turned to synthesizers for soundscape inspiration. The single "Ambling Alp" is a dynamically percussive new wave self-respect anthem, while "I Remember" has all the melodic flourish and vocal loveliness of an early Erasure aria. Modified African rhythms visit in dance-friendly tracks "Madder Red" and "O.N.E.," and "Rome" is a steadily building strut with drum and vocal effects that reach out and grab from dark alleys. Between the folds of intricate sound on "Odd Blood" float Yeasayer members Anand Wilder's and Chris Keating's expressive vocal harmonies, giving this seemingly disparate, indefinable music a clear identity.-Evie Nagy