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September 7th, 2011 ROBERT HAM | Album Reviews
 

Album Review: YACHT

Shangri-La (DFA Records)

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[DISCO INFERNO] The fifth album by the discofied pop outfit YACHT is also the second to feature a solidified lineup of leader Jona Bechtolt with ingénue/foil Claire Evans. Not that she follows Bechtolt’s directions: Evans is a full-fledged collaborator, co-writing all the songs on this and the group’s previous effort, See Mystery Lights. She adds a divalike flair to these songs, chirping and wailing through the proceedings with sweaty nerve that was often missing from earlier YACHT efforts. 

This most recent disc also bears the imprint of the band’s benefactors, DFA Records. Like the other notable acts on that label—LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip among them—YACHT can wrap some heady themes in glittery dance-floor trappings. For Evans, Bechtolt and company (the core duo is joined on this album by a coterie of players including locals Jeffrey Jerusalem and Bobby Birdman), it is exploring the divine and end-of-the-world prophecy. 

The band lays its cards right on the table with not only the album title, but also by dropping the themes in a one-two punch to start off: “Utopia” and “Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire).” In both of these subjects, the result is something approaching sheer ecstasy. There’s no lamenting the loss of our planet here; YACHT is ready to “watch the motherfucker burn” and (on “Beam Me Up”) watch the destruction from space. If you’re one of the people stuck on the planet as it goes up in flames, YACHT wants you to—as Evans sings with devilish glee on “Paradise Engineering”—expand until you “become so large and so blissful that we will no longer exist.” The band’s unusual socio-philosophical outlook may not hold much water, but the grooves here are tight as can be. These are fiery club jams for the end of days. There will be Armageddon, yes, but there will also be dancing


SEE IT: YACHT plays Branx on Saturday, Sept. 10, as a part of MFNW. 7:30 pm show, 11 pm set. $13 (or MFNW wristband). All ages.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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