Karen O, What Are You Doing?

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are amazing—but this new song is more like No No No.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been around for almost two decades. They were part of the booming NYC early 2000s music scene that included The Strokes, Ryan Adams and LCD Soundsystem. Their debut album Fever To Tell (2003) to their last album Mosquito (2013) were embraced by their fans. And now they’ve just announced the deluxe LP re-issue of Fever To Tell and several shows throughout the US—which will be their first show in four years.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Karen O fans rejoiced everywhere—including yours truly. I remember being a heartbroken teenager driving around blasting and screaming along to “Mysterious” from Show Your Bones. Even with my most recent heartbreak I became re-obsessed with all the tracks from Karen O’s solo project, Crush Songs.


Suffice it to say, I’m a big fan.

So why do I hate this new song “Phone Jam?”

Technically, the song isn’t new; it was recorded in 2002 and just never released until now. It’s a pretty catchy beat, but it’s monotonous and doesn’t provide the same cool-kid melodies that Karen O so gloriously creates in “Zero” or “Gold Lion.” It’s also mashed with old phone calls and voice messages from the past that give it an awkward intensity.

It kicks off with Karen O saying into the phone that she’s just “fucking around with Nick with some music stuff,” so I guess you’re already set up to not expect much. Those low expectations are met as, Karen O creaks and grunts while more weird phone messages play in the background.

As a fan, I still want new material from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and/or Karen O. I’ll most definitely still be there when they come to NYC.

However, I’m also hoping they come out with something better than what we just got—or heads will roll.