Image courtesy of Pitchfork
Review by Caitlin McCartney
In the new release, Lux Prima, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ lead singer Karen O teams up with notable producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) to create an experimental journey of various sounds and vibes. Karen O said that “there was no roadmap” for the album and this is beautifully apparent in the original blends of sounds that seem to transport the listener to different places and dimensions. This is definitely an experiential record, deserving of a listen in its entirety. The album is reminiscent of a movie soundtrack— the type you want to have playing in your headphones as you wander aimlessly in the newfound spring daylight.
The opening title track “Lux Prima” is a beautiful symphony of large musical swells and rhythm changes, highlighting the diverse range of O’s music. Don’t let the fact that the song is 9 minutes turn you away. The song develops, builds, and takes turns, offering an engaging voyage guided by light, haunting vocals. Another noteworthy track is “Turn the light.” Karen O sings “starry, starry night/ This is how I wanna live” bringing a refreshing perspective to this bouncy, atypical love song. Overall, O’s stunning vocals are a strong point of the record, adding a technical element of deep lusciousness and soft power. This is particularly highlighted in the song “Woman”, an anthem for feminism. Karen O evokes a variety of emotions, from nostalgia to anger, throughout this cinematic 9-track record.