Friday, June 10, 2011

YACHT - Shangri-La

YACHT wastes no time letting their freak flag fly on Shangri-La. Opening with the one-two punch of “Utopia” and “Dystopia,” we’re taken from a hyperactive alien frolic, complete with bass on speed, to glitchy synths and end-of-the-world incantations, like “the earth is on fire/we don’t have no daughter/let the motherfucker burn.” Heavy statements are made into weightless fun with musical spontaneity that owes as much to the B-52’s oddball humor as it does to Of Montreal’s digital-future vibe. YACHT was originally the brainchild of Jona Bechtolt, but this is his second album (of five) featuring Claire Evans. It’s also the second on James Murphy’s DFA label, which is why it’s not surprising that Shangri-La is plastered with mantras and continuous trance-like beats that bring to mind Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem. “Beam Me Up” may or may not be a Star Trek reference, but when the fiery chorus begins, all nerdy references are excused by electro-funk madness. YACHT comes back down to earth on the title track, which closes the album with flat vocals, sixties sway, and an acknowledgment that “if I can’t go to heaven, let me go to LA.”

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