The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Bowery Ballroom Blitz

Karen O et al finally deliver a record worthy of their image

Instead, all three members of this band achieve something tricky: They use sonics to sculpt personality. Zinner and Chase are always, somewhere, audible, and the tangible, charismatic, joyfully muddled woman at the center of It's Blitz! isn't revealed to us through the record's lyrics, which are as gnomic as ever, but through attitudes, tones, put-on sneers, and audible grins. It's the delight she takes in briefly fronting a menacing dance-punk outfit on "Heads Will Roll"; the meditative bliss with which she and her bandmates unveil the tonescape "Skeletons" (in which Chase does something close to a five-minute drumroll); and, best of all, the delicate delivery of this record's best mantra—the moment on "Hysteric" when Karen O, swaying inside the stutter of Chase's drums, repeatedly coos, "You suddenly complete me." In moments like that, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs define themselves, not by shedding affectations, but by combining them. I'm as smitten as Letterman.

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