Six years have passed since Yeasayer made their mark on the wider world with second album ‘Odd Blood’, a record that hammered home the fact that in their hands electronic pop was a thing of real beauty. They’re a band who, at their best, can conjure a feeling of pure euphoria both live and on record, and whilst their last album, ‘Fragrant Worlds’, was short on these moments, it feels like ‘Amen & Goodbye’ is reaching for them once more.
The New York trio have always had their epic tendencies, but in opener ‘Daughters of Cain’ they appear to have gone full concept-album on us; a slow, sweeping, anticipation-building slice of music, which is straight out of the annals of prog-rock and more inline with their debut album, ‘All Hour Cymbals’. Such semi-ironic posturing is now pierced immediately by a segue into the superb ‘I Am Chemistry’, which is, truly, pop music at its finest – slick, shiny, huge-sounding and laden with hooks. And there’s a children’s choir to boot, while ‘Silly Me’ is reminiscent of early Madonna, and ‘Half Asleep’ is shot through with overt eastern influences and sitar. But it’s the lengthy mini-epics that are the album’s highlights, and ‘Gerson’s Whistle’ sees Chris Keating and Anand Wilder emote and vocally posture with unabashed earnestness.
‘Amen & Goodbye’ is a heavyweight album. For those who mourn the scarcity of ‘credible’ pop, give thanks for Yeasayer.