The Deluxe Edition of It’s Blitz! is All Kinds of Wonderful

Sweet corn-on-the-cob with two slabs of butter, y’all.  The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, It’s Blitz!, is all kinds of delicious.  Take the lead single, “Zero,” for example:

The whole album is just as strong.  Even as tempos change (“Skeletons” is practically ambient in its mood, and closing ballad “Little Shadows” elegantly burns with its organs and distorted guitars) and styles shift about (“Dull Life” and “Shame and Fortune” recall the punkish howl of Fever to Tell, while “Dragon Lady” grooves like Diana Ross in Studio 54), the instrumentation and production remain gloriously inspired; added to that, Karen O’s voice is just something else entirely, a potent alchemy of rocker grrrl swaggering bravado and pained beauty.  It’s Blitz! is simply glorious.  Seriously, y’all:


But, even better than It’s Blitz! is the deluxe edition available now on iTunes.  The acoustic versions of four of the album’s tracks (“Soft Shock,” “Skeletons,” “Hysteric,” and “Little Shadows”) aren’t just Karen O vocals and a some acoustic guitar, which would have been perfectly acceptable given how great the songs no matter what way you dress them.

Oh no, though.  There’s so much more.

Banjos and a string quartet, along with pianos and tambourines, are all roped in; these aren’t stripped down so much as reworked entirely into Arcade Fire-esque chamber pop.  It’s sublime stuff, really, particularly when you can jump back and forth between the versions and relish the creativity that’s gone into these reimaginings.  Added value material so rarely adds up to anything beyond throwaway tracks from the studio sessions that don’t justify the extra money spent, but this is the rare exception.  I love the dance-floor-synth sheen that glistens throughout It’s Blitz!, but I could just as easily be satisfied if that becomes abandoned for what they’re doing with these acoustic songs.  The deluxe edition of It’s Blitz! certainly makes for a more eclectic experience than the tighter cohesion of the standard release, but that can only be a good things when you’re in the talented hands of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

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