Recordings: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones

The sophomore album — it can be a monumental undertaking for an up-and-coming band that wants to stay relevant. Sometimes it can prove to be fatal (Hot Hot Heat’s Elevator). Other times, the result is mixed (Franz Ferdinand’s You Could Have it So Much Better). Thankfully, neither is the case with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ exquisite second full-length record, Show Your Bones.

Their debut album, 2003’s Fever to Tell, was snazzy enough to earn a #55 spot on the Billboard 200, yet it left a lackluster first impression. Lead singer Karen O’s soulful voice flourished on the record’s single, “Maps,” but she shrieked and yelped on too many of the album’s sloppy tracks.

Fortunately, the band cleaned up its act on Bones and the result is a catchy, energetic rock compilation without a single disappointing song. Sure, the band still likes to sound raw and muffled as hell, but this time, O’s jazzy pipes accentuate each rhythmic rock ballad.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have certainly toned down their gritty sound since they first hit the New York club scene in 2000, but they still remain true to their indie rock roots on Bones. Don’t be fooled by the slow intro on “Warrior” and “The Sweets” — each song picks up the pace for a dramatic, soundtrack-worthy finish.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs may have emerged in the shadow of garage-rock counterparts like the Strokes and the White Stripes, but Bones proves they’ll be around for the long haul.