20. Yeasayer – Fragrant World
Yeasayer‘s third album received some pretty mixed reviews. But despite its critical reception, Fragrant World really grew on me. The band stepped away from indie pop toward an R&B sound, all while staying under its signature twisted psych umbrella.
In addition to the genre shift, Fragrant World narrowed Yeasayer’s usually too-wide scope. While All Hour Cymbals and Odd Blood teemed with brilliant experimentation, they often came across as disheveled and a bit random. But the band tightened their focus under a dark lens.
Before the album came out, Yeasayer debuted two strong tracks, “Henrietta” and “Longevity.” Even with the singles’ unforgettable hooks, neither overshadows the other nine songs. In fact, with each listen, new songs begin to jump out as favorites — the glitchy “Damaged Goods,” the Oingo Boingo bop of “Reagan’s Skeleton,” or the slow churn of “Glass of the Microscope.”
Fragrant World sounds like a shimmering underworld. It might even be Yeasayer at their best.