It's Blitz!

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It's Blitz!
Studio album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Released March 9, 2009 (2009-03-09)
Recorded 2008; Sonic Ranch (Tornillo, Texas); Long View Farm Studios (North Brookfield, Massachusetts); Stay Gold Studio (Brooklyn); The Boat (Los Angeles); Seedy Underbelly (Valley Village, Los Angeles)
Genre Alternative pop[1]
Length 41:49
Label Interscope
Producer Nick Launay, David Andrew Sitek
Yeah Yeah Yeahs chronology
Is Is
(2007)
It's Blitz!
(2009)
Mosquito
(2013)
Singles from It's Blitz!
  1. "Zero"
    Released: February 24, 2009
  2. "Heads Will Roll[2]"
    Released: June 29, 2009
  3. "Skeletons"
    Released: February 1, 2010

It's Blitz! is the third studio album by American indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, released on March 9, 2009 by Interscope Records. It was originally set for release on April 13, 2009, however after being leaked to the Internet on February 22,[3] the release date was pushed forward to March 9 for the digital version and March 31 for the physical version.[4] The rest of the world release date was on April 6, 2009. The first single "Zero" was released on February 24, 2009. The album was produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire, Talking Heads, PiL), along with TV on the Radio's David Andrew Sitek.[5]

The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album on December 2, 2009.[6]

Recording[edit]

According to Nick Launay, one of the two producers, the recording of the album was unusual for being largely written and created in the studio at a time when record labels have cut back considerably on production budgets. The few songs the band did take along to the first sessions were later altered significantly.[7] Launay described a typical session as follows:

"Brian [Chase] would play lots of different drumbeats and we'd record it, chop it up and then make a groove loop out of it. Nick [Zinner] would then just jam to it, and we'd come up with an interesting rhythm part. Karen [O] would listen to that and come up with a vocal melody and then suddenly everything would fall into place."[7]

The album sessions took place over several months in 2008, during which time there were numerous breaks "to get inspired".[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau A−[9]
Entertainment Weekly B+[10]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[11]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[12]
NME 8/10[13]
Pitchfork Media 8.1/10[14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[15]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[16]
Spin 9/10[1]

It's Blitz! received universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 82, based on 36 reviews.[17] The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan commended the band's more dance-oriented sound, writing their "glittery new disco sound suits them very well. It's all cool, brittle catchiness, with a debt owed to Eat to the Beat-era Blondie".[11] Emily Mackay of NME wrote that "It's Blitz!'s heartfelt love letter to the transcendent possibilities of the dancefloor is an unexpectedly emphatic reassertion of why Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the most exciting bands of this decade",[13] while Spin's Charles Aaron said that it is "the alternative pop album of the decade—one that imbues The Killers' Hot Fuss and MGMT's Oracular Spectacular with a remarkable emotional depth and finesse".[1] Later that year, Spin would place the album second on their best albums of 2009 list.[18] Theon Weber of The Village Voice said that Karen O "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."[19] Mojo gave it a score of four stars out of five and wrote that the band has "managed to mix the human and the electronic, the emotional and the artsy, the fashion-forward and the oddly retro."[20]

Blender also gave the album four stars out of five and hailed it as "the sound of a band reborn with new momentum, and on an album that requires dancing, the message is clear: It doesn't matter where you came from. Just keep moving."[21] Clash commented that the trio had achieved growth without distancing themselves from what made their name: "The album proves that they can provide epic music with personal themes, that YYYs can expand without losing what made us fall for them in the first place".[22] Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the band "grapple with separation and need, using dance beats to suggest the compulsive pleasure seeking that tries to drown out loneliness", and he commended their musical direction, stating "The band is echoing the evolution of postpunk, from dogmatic austerity to technologically assisted".[23] Uncut's April Long gave it a score of four stars out of five and praised its "spirit of experimentation", stating "What unifies them is a warm romanticism that runs throughout, edging out Karen’s blatant eroticism of yore – even though there are more come-downs than come-ons, every song seems to glow from within".[24]

Accolades[edit]

It's Blitz! was ranked as the second best album of the year by Spin, third by NME and twelfth by Pitchfork and Rhapsody.[25][26][27][28] Both NME and Spin also listed the song "Zero" as the best of the year.[29][30]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 

No. Title Length
1. "Zero"   4:25
2. "Heads Will Roll"   3:41
3. "Soft Shock"   3:53
4. "Skeletons"   5:02
5. "Dull Life"   4:08
6. "Shame and Fortune"   3:31
7. "Runaway"   5:13
8. "Dragon Queen"   4:02
9. "Hysteric"   3:50
10. "Little Shadow"   3:57
Deluxe edition bonus tracks[31]
No. Title Length
11. "Soft Shock" (Acoustic) 3:25
12. "Skeletons" (Acoustic) 3:29
13. "Hysteric" (Acoustic) 3:51
14. "Little Shadow" (Acoustic) 2:53
iTunes Store bonus tracks[32]
No. Title Length
11. "Faces"   3:33
12. "Clap Song" (pre-order only) 3:26

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of It's Blitz!.[33]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Additional personnel
  • Tunde Adebimpe – backing vocals (track 8)
  • Atom – assistant engineering
  • Louie Bandack – A&R
  • David Belisle – live Karen and Brian photography
  • Eric Biondo – trumpet (tracks 1, 9)
  • Stuart Bogie – tenor saxophone (tracks 1, 8, 9), baritone saxophone (tracks 8, 9)
  • Tony Ciulla – management
  • Chris Coady – assistant engineering
  • Aaron Dembe – assistant engineering
  • Autumn de Wilde – live band photography
  • Urs Fisher – art direction, cover and inside photography
  • Charles Godfrey – assistant engineering
  • Matty Green – mixing assistant
  • Laura Haber – management
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Chris Kasych – mixing assistant
  • Greg Kurstin – piano (track 7)
  • Nick Launay – engineering, production
  • Mike Laza – assistant engineering
  • Justin Leeah – assistant engineering
  • Seb Marling – art direction
  • Chris Moore – assistant engineering
  • Alyssa Pittaluga – assistant engineering
  • Jane Scarpantoni – cello (track 7)
  • David Andrew Sitek – production (tracks 1–4, 8, 9), additional production (tracks 5), engineering (tracks all tracks)
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing
  • Eric Uhlir – live Nick photography
  • Imaad Wasif – guitar (track 10)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[56] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Aaron, Charles (March 18, 2009). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'It's Blitz!' (Interscope)". Spin. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  2. ^ Graff, Gary (May 19, 2009). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs Leave Heads Rolling On The Road". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  3. ^ "Dit it leak". Did it Leak. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  4. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs to release album early due to leak", NME, 2009-03-03. Retrieved on 2009-04-15.
  5. ^ Goodman, William. "Exclusive: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Talk New Album", Spin, 2009-02-12. Retrieved on 2009-04-15.
  6. ^ "The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees List", Grammy.com, December 2, 2009
  7. ^ a b c "Interview With Nick Launay". HitQuarters. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  8. ^ Phares, Heather. "It's Blitz! - Yeah Yeah Yeahs". AllMusic. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: It's Blitz!". MSN Music: May 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10.
  10. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2009-03-20). "It's Blitz Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  11. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (2009-03-19). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz!". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  12. ^ Wood, Mikael (2009-03-30). "Album review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'It's Blitz!'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  13. ^ a b Mackay, Emily (2009-03-26). "Album Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs (It's Blitz!)". NME. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  14. ^ Love, Joshua (2009-03-26). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz!". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  15. ^ Rosen, Jody (2009-03-17). "It's Blitz!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  16. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (2009-03-16). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz!". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  17. ^ "Critic Reviews for It's Blitz". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  18. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2009". Spin. 2009-12-07. Archived from the original on 2011-12-26. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  19. ^ Weber, Theon (2009-04-01). "The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Bowery Ballroom Blitz". The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  20. ^ "Review: It's Blitz". Mojo (London): 94. May 2009. 
  21. ^ "Review: It's Blitz!". Blender. March 2009. 
  22. ^ Murray, Robin (2009-03-13). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!, Album three from the NYC trio...", Clash. Retrieved on 2009-04-15.
  23. ^ Pareles, Jon (2009-03-29). "New CDs (Yeah Yeah Yeahs: 'It's Blitz!')". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  24. ^ Long, April (2009). "Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!". Uncut. Retrieved on 2010-06-10.
  25. ^ The 25 Best Albums of 2009 Referenced July 31, 2010
  26. ^ http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/7744-the-top-50-albums-of-2009/4/
  27. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2009". NME. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  28. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2009". Spin. December 7, 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  29. ^ "50 Best Tracks of 2009". NME. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  30. ^ Spin Staff (December 7, 2009). "The 20 Best Songs of 2009". Spin. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  31. ^ "It's Blitz! [Digi-Pack]". Amazon.com. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ "It's Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs". iTunes Store US. Apple. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ It's Blitz! (CD liner notes). Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Interscope Records. 2009. B0012735-02. 
  34. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
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  56. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  57. ^ "British album certifications – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!". British Phonographic Industry. January 7, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2012.  Enter It's Blitz! in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go