Album Reviews

The Yeah Yous – Looking Through You

(Island) UK release date: 28 September 2009

Soon, the masses will queue anxiously to obtain vaccines in thehope of staving off H1N1. Meanwhile, those whobefall the grips of Swine Flu’s fellow pathogen Looking Through You,the infectiously boisterous pop debut from intolerable newcomers TheYeah You’s (see that maddening apostrophe there?), should expect no respite from the ravaging of the ear andmind symptomatic of even short-term exposure to its all-encompassingcatchiness.

So said the sinister, musical malcontent, having slitheredmenacingly from emotional depths, mouth watering with Pavlovian predictabilityat the mere suggestion of the notions ‘infectious’ and ‘pop’ beinguttered in close proximity. Linking the pair to the exuberantMika in terms of sound and pending popularity, as well as viapop-purveying producer Greg Wells, further inspires a knee-jerkcast-off.

Thenoting of first impressions is important here. Underscrutiny is an album that will, first and foremost, be known for itson the spot accessibility.

Similar to the attachment of a virus to the host cell, material onLooking Through You sticks aggressively to innards without warning. Upon reaching the third chorus, listeners will findthemselves atop a roof, bellowing every syllable of the ultra-cheeryand addictive single Getting Up With You, wondering how you managedthe ladder amid a piano-driven melody so satisfying and memorable.

Perhaps the smirk and eye-roll-inducing existence of enough layeredharmonies to choke a goat, the awkward use of synthesized steeldrums as the bridge approaches and flat-out cornball lyrics providedsufficient opportunity to focus on the rungs.

These drawbacks recur too often, seemingly stemming from anapparent need to exude overwhelming quirkiness. Interestingly enough,whilst not partaking in crazily slanted stances or reversed filmsdepicting fish and chips consumption, lyrics like those in lead single15 Minutes were penned.

The track shows the pair, at least on thisselection, offering a humble perspective. In this case it’s on the fleeting period of stardom that surely awaits them – it would seem RobbieWilliams egos may not be on the docket this time.

Ultimately, it’s difficult not to forgive the missteps, given howeasy it is to simply delight in the enjoyable tunes, even if chordaland vocal progressions do tend to run together as the album boogieson. Surely, reliance on the catalogues of Queen, Keane,The Beach Boys, The Police and various other rhyming,semi-agreeable forerunners, helped shape a sound rather easy, if notsomewhat grating, on the ears.

All in all, The Yeah Yous (that’s better) is a rather fun release deserving neither staunch,immediate rejection nor instant ascension into record heaven, butcertainly a shimmy or two.

And so, with prejudices cast aside and dance shoes securely tied,the grouch retreats, crestfallen, to his cave to brood. SomeMorrissey will do well to cure what ills him. Later, though -the summer sun’s still peaking through the clouds.

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The Yeah Yous – Looking Through You