Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah


3.5
great

Review

by Chewbacca USER (32 Reviews)
December 28th, 2005 | 43 replies | 9,640 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


11 of 11 thought this review was well written

BEE-BOOP.

What strikes my fancy about this thing is the cover: sketches of freakishly ugly "things"in mustard, purple and white; jumping, hanging, or whatever you want to identify their acrobatics as. They're great really, especially considering that the art just makes me giggle at the site of midget things cataplting around a room or something like that, y'know? Just silly.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are just like that, kind of. What is even cooler is that they're a cool band. Not 'cool' in your normal way, 'cool' like "hey, I could probably listen to this more than once and still enjoy it every time". They embrace the pop hooks, the indie pecularaties, and some blippity bloppityness of synthesizers and other wondeful instruments. That's right, blippity bloppity. It seems like they would be another conventional, dull indie-pop band on paper, but after awhile of listening, it's clear that this band ain't like dem others. Although the melodies, song structures, and all of that wobbledorf are pretty familiar, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's sound is a blend of earnest indie-pop, silly hooks, a bit of shoegaze's dreamfactor, and most importantly - Alec Ounsworth's croon, yelp, shout, sweetsweetsweet voice.

It's not necessarily that Alec's voice is the most tuneful, it certainly is not, but what he does do well is project feeling through his obscure yelps. Most of the time, you can't even tell what he's singing (thank God for the liner-lyrics), but he damn well channels whatever emotion the music and lyrics indicate through his voice. "Clap Your Hands!", the not-so-subtle opener, may be his most obnoxious moment on the album. Along with carnival organ playing, crooning backround vocals, clapping, and bass drum, Ounsowrth shouts and revels in the lo-fi production of the song; sounding like a manic lion tamer. But, by the next song, "Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away", Clap Your Hands Say Yeah establish their signature sound, which they impliment throughout the whole album in different ways. The first truly impressive song, though, is easily the wonderful "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth", which evokes a light-hearted Interpol combined with Hellogoodbye. Lyrically, the song is as absurd and somehow meaningfull as the rest of Alec's songs, but what's most important is how he directs the emotions and feelings the song is intended (or not intended) to bring out.

This however, is not to discredit the rest of the band's musical efforts. Every song, though not entirely the most original or innovative, is interesting somehow (besides the bass-fuzz out "Heavy Metal). Guitars chop around, bass bounces about the song with a carefree tone, and the drumming is as upbeat and dance-worthy as any other indie-pop band. Following the wonderful "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" is the equally good "Is This Love?", once again evoking the pop-rock of Hellogoodbye, with galloping, upbeat guitar playing and swirling electronic noises. Alec's struggle for certain notes, which he almost gets to, is gloriously sloppy and cute. "In This Home on Ice", however, easily makes for the greatest song on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It is distinct within the scope of the album in that the guitars are focused and ethereal; reminding myself of Ride covering "The Kids Are Alright". And for once, the band finally has a true anthem of a song: driving, melodic guitar playing, pounding drums, and a beautiful, uplifting vocal delivery from Ounsworth. It all ends too soon. "Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood" is driven by precise acoustic strums and light drums. However, I can't take the song as seriously as some of the others, with lines like "There is nothing left to fear / Now that Bigfoot is captured" and the repetition of the phrase "child stars" 30 times. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ends ubruptly.

I don't know if I can put my finger on what exactly makes Clap Your Hands Say Yeah such a wonderful album. Sure, they sucessfully combine several elements of pop, rock, indie, and other genres into an acessable, hook-laden package, but there is something else in the music that is hard to point out. If every other indie-pop band could be as strikingly dissimilar as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the world would be a wonderful place (especially withouot the Bravery). Of course, the album is not without it's flaws; several songs fall below the quality of the superiors, Alec's singing can be a bit tedious ("Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood), and some songs just flat-out feel uninspired. These detractors, however, are not necessarily things that take away from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah as a whole; they are merely subtle and not-so-subtle attributes that could easily approved upon in the future, something that I am sure Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are capable of.

CLAP YOUR HANDS!



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sexymuffin Vol. 2
December 28th 2005



1 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This was a decent review, although it sounded a little Dr. Suess-esque with some of the terminology and could have done with a track-by-track or a reccomended song list.

As for the band, i strongly dislike them. They're far too happy go lucky for me to even start to get into, and on top of that, the singer is absolutely awful.

This is one of my girlfriend's favorite bands :

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 28th 2005



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. This is an ok album. "Blue Turning Gray" is amazing.

masada
December 28th 2005



2733 Comments


"Blue Turning Gray" is filler.

I happen to like my "Dr. Seuss-esque terminology" also.

Jawaharal
December 28th 2005



1832 Comments


As for the band, i strongly dislike them. They're far too happy go lucky for me to even start to get into, and on top of that, the singer is absolutely awful.

awwww, itz okay, we all know your a softy on the inside and listen to Simon and Garfunkel everynight.

Cool review. As I've told you before, I want this album alot and you convinced me even more so to do so.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 28th 2005



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Blue Turning Gray" is filler.


As far as I'm concerned, the rest of the album is filler when compared to this song.

masada
December 28th 2005



2733 Comments


So an acoustic/intrumental interlude isn't filler.

Sepstrup
December 29th 2005



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review. I like your Dr. Seuss-esque terminology as well. Perhaps I should check this out. It certainly sounds interesting.

Neoteric
December 29th 2005



3243 Comments


and could have done with a track-by-track or a reccomended song list.

No.

Robert Crumb
Emeritus
December 29th 2005



165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Judging from everything I had read about this album before hearing it, I thought it was going to be complete crap. But it's pretty catchy and enjoyable, if unexceptional. This Message Edited On 12.29.05

masada
December 29th 2005



2733 Comments


"Details of War" is a lot better than I thought before.

I guess I'm the only one that thinks this album is great.

Zebra
Moderator
December 29th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, you described this album very well.

I disagree with the rating, I strongly dislike this band and album. The vocals are a strong turn off for me, I just can't seem to get into them.

The music isn't bad but these songs seem very uninspired and the songs don't seem to go anywhere. I find myself getting bored by the third track.

masada
December 29th 2005



2733 Comments


Zebra doesn't like anything that I like. :p

I think a 1 is a tad harsh.This Message Edited On 12.29.05

Zebra
Moderator
December 29th 2005



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I guess you're right. I think a 2/5 fits the album better because the first two songs arn't that bad, and the music is somewhat unique and quirky.

masada
January 25th 2006



2733 Comments


I don't know; I still think this album is good, if not great, still. However, it's become more clear to me that there are a handful of standouts ("Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away", "Details of War", "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth", "In Thise Home on Ice") and several weak songs.

wikuk
January 29th 2006



1110 Comments


man... that name for a band. couldnt think of a worse name... and their song names are also lame.

sadisticmonkey
February 13th 2006



107 Comments


i think this album is fantastic

the only song I think is a little weak (minus instrumentals) is In This Home On ice...and its not even that bad...it sounds like "The Kids Are Alright" by the Who...which was mentioned in the review

I give this cd 4/5This Message Edited On 02.13.06

Sepstrup
February 21st 2006



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This got a 6/6 rating in a danish music magazine, in which the reviewer proclaimed it to become one of 2006's best albums. (It came out in 2006 in Denmark)

I should check it out :P

Neoteric
February 21st 2006



3243 Comments


This got a 6/6 rating in a danish music magazine, in which the reviewer proclaimed it to become one of 2006's best albums. (It came out in 2006 in Denmark)

Can he see into the future?


DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 21st 2006



3995 Comments


Ummm, this band is not very good. Overrated amongst many other overrated indie bands these days.

masada
May 22nd 2006



2733 Comments


Yeah.

It got old pretty quick. "In This Home on Ice" is pretty much awesome though. Especially live.



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