Results for Karen O

specials

Turkey Shoot 2014

Turkey Shoot: It's Turkey time! Dip these albums in the deep fryers (safely of course). Here are the albums that most let Jim and Greg down in 2014:

Go to episode 468
reviews
Crush SongsCrush Songs available on iTunes

Karen O Crush Songs

Yeah Yeah Yeah's frontwoman Karen O has always been a galvanizing perfomer with a presence that's both feisty and introspective. Recently, she's been dabbling in solo recordings, releasing songs for films like Where the Wild Things Are and Her, but she hasn't released a full solo studio album until now. Crush Songs takes its name from a time in Karen O's life when she was thinking a lot about love and would compose simple and silly songs in private. It's those bedroom recordings from years ago that now comprise the entirety of Crush Songs. However, in a baffeling move to Jim and Greg, she does not update much of anything about the songs, resulting in a poor, clumsy sound, intentional or not. Both critics feel this collection of what could be Yeah Yeah Yeahs demos should never have been released. Crush Songs gets a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 461
Show Your BonesShow Your Bones available on iTunes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones

Next up is Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This Brooklyn trio has released Show Your Bones, the highly anticipated follow-up to their debut, Fever to Tell. That successful album produced a hit single, "Maps," and made the band one of the poster children for the new-garage (or new-new wave) scene in New York City. Jim is always skeptical of this scene and of hype in general, but really liked Show Your Bones. He's not sure what lead singer Karen O is singing about, but loves her energy, which channels a combination of Siouxsie Sioux and Chrissie Hynde. Guitar wizard Nick Zinner is also back in top form. Therefore it's a Buy It for Jim. Greg, however, can only give this disc, which was produced by hip hop producer Squeak-E-Clean, a Burn It rating. He thinks there are a number of great tracks, but the songwriting just isn't there.

JimGreg
Go to episode 20
MosquitoMosquito available on iTunes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Mosquito

During the 2000s, two bands forged a New York garage rock revival: The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Two weeks ago, Jim and Greg eviscerated Comedown Machine, The Strokes' fifth studio effort. This week, they take on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' latest, Mosquito. Is this yet another case of early promise and later disappointment? Jim says“no way.”The album art might turn his stomach, but he's digging Mosquito, which shows the band experimenting with musical styles from gospel to hip-hop. Unlike The Strokes' similar genre experiments, Jim says Mosquito sounds organic, not contrived. Greg agrees. He was a big fan of lead singer Karen O's 2003 song "Maps," so he's glad to hear more of her emotional vocals on this record. Mosquito gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 385
pharrelloscars

Oscar Songs 2014

When it comes to movies, Jim and Greg defer to the Academy. But, when it comes to music, they aren't as casual. 2014 has been a banner year for pop music in the movies, with three of this year's Best Original Song nominees topping the charts. In fact, this kind of crossover hasn't happened since 1984, when all five nominees hit #1. First, there's Idina Menzel's ubiquitous "Let It Go," from the animated Disney hit Frozen. Written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez of Book of Mormon fame, it's a flashy show tune—the "Diane Warren power ballad" of Greg's nightmares—that fails to impress our hosts. Not so with "The Moon Song," from the film Her. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who co-wrote the song with director Spike Jonze, has since released a duet with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. This quiet, intimate tune wins Jim's statuette, even if it's too low-key for the Academy. Greg's giving his award to "Happy" from Despicable Me 2. While Mr. Kot admits to living under a rock when it comes to kids' movies, he considers Pharrell's single, with its layered vocals and handclaps, a pop masterpiece (despite the mediocre lyrics). Jim isn't as happy and thinks that Pharrell phoned this one in. Meanwhile, U2 took a break from ending world hunger to record a new song for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. While the film got little attention in the U.S., "Ordinary Love" has something else working in its favor: the media empire of Harvey Weinstein. His aggressive promotion already won the song a Golden Globe for Best Song, and could similarly sway the Academy…but not our hosts. Despite the noble subject, Jim and Greg just hear standard U2 flag-waving.

JimGreg
Go to episode 431
It's Blitz! (Deluxe Edition)It's Blitz! available on iTunes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!

It was only eight years ago that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs appeared at SXSW. Now, they have their third record out called It's Blitz! Jim and Greg agree that lead singer Karen O is a stage performer like none other. But, she's only 1/3 of the band. Drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner also have a major impact on the band's sound. So, as Jim points out, it's remarkable that they‘d want to“mess”with the two other important elements. Chase’s drumming is less frenetic, and Zinner has added synths to his repertoire. Jim thinks the change is not only courageous, but successful and gives It's Blitz! a Buy It rating. Greg not only hears a shift in sound, but a new sense of introspection. He is reminded of the band's emotional 2003 single "Maps." Greg also gives the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 174