Album review: Yeasayer - Fragrant World

The Brooklynites with ideas bursting from every pore unleash their latest eclectic indie groove machine... Is it third time lucky?

The Brooklyn experimentalists’ third album often wilfully threatens to ooze pop appeal through a grille of syncopated beats, twisted synth notes and samples.

This is no mean achievement for a band who trade on their broad palette of bewildering aural offerings packed into every song.

The postmodern psychtronica throws up beguiling moments from the Close Encounters-style otherworldliness that splits Henrietta’s crunchy pop in half, to disfigured pop gem Longevity, a loping, bleep-dusted urban pop offcut.

But no matter how off-kilter the drumstick rattles and electronic organ notes are, how much Prince-style funk or Eastern rhythm is deployed there’s a groove to much of Fragrant World.

It’s not as overtly melodic as predecessor Odd Blood, nor as emphatically experimental and oblique as their debut - and it does feel a little like they’re trying too hard at times. But give it a while and it’ll worm its way into your heart.

3 stars

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