CD review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘It’s Blitz!’
CD review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘It’s Blitz!’

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It’s Blitz! (Interscope)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs has mastered the art of the tease, and the New York trio’s new “It’s Blitz!” is as frustratingly enigmatic as its previous releases.

The group doesn’t disguise its brilliance, and just as it did with 2006’s “Show Your Bones,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontloads its new project with amazing cuts. Opener “Zero” is both agitated and beautiful, the rare slapping/searing dance song that achieves emotional resonance as the empathetic vocal of Karen O delivers a Siouxsie-on-steroids set here and on the propulsive subsequent track, “Heads Will Roll,” where she powers over the monster groove with the mantra, “Dance, dance, dance till you’re dead!”

For a while Yeah Yeah Yeahs appears to be fully invested in electronica. Yet just when it seems the band will forsake its rock roots, Yeah Yeah Yeahs suddenly romps ferociously through the guitar-swamped “Dull Life” and then buzzes through a half-baked “Shame and Fortune.”

Although icons such as David Bowie and Madonna have been similarly mercurial, they’ve always maintained a basic essence of themselves behind their chameleonic personas. The only thing that seems to be behind Karen O’s mask is another mask.