#16 on the 2011 Musical Bacon Calendar
Hysterical by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
I used to try and believe that “the sophomore slump” didn’t really exist. That’s not to say I didn’t think it was possible for bands to have a fantastic first album and then a terrible second album — that happens all the time. I just didn’t think a band that makes that terrible second album could ever recover from the blow. For me, “the sophomore slump” always meant: successful album, terrible album, successful album, which is why I thought it didn’t really exist. But here’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to prove me wrong.
Their debut album was phenomenal. But, like me, you probably wrote CYHSY off entirely after their lackluster 2nd album Some Loud Thunder. During the post-album slump, Alec Ounsworth, the lead singer, went and recorded a great solo album that ended up on my 2009 Calendar. I wrote then:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah haven’t really panned out to be the second coming of Talking Heads that I thought they would be. “Some Loud Thunder”, the follow-up to their eponymous debut, was a bit of a let down in 2007. And excepting an appearance at a couple festivals and on Jimmy Fallon, the band hasn’t done much since.
I clearly did not expect much of anything more from CYHSY. Which is why Hysterical, released this past September, was such a pleasant surprise. It kills. The band has thoroughly brushed off the dust and poor reviews from the past 4 years and have gotten back to the bouncy brilliance of their debut. In early November I got to see the band perform in Seattle’s newest venue, the Neptune. As I wrote then, it was fun:
The band played many, many songs from their fantastic debut. And the crowd would go wild accordingly during those moments. They even played “Satan Said Dance,” one of those long-forgotten favorites. But it was the new songs where it felt like Ounsworth and company were really enjoying themselves.
If you liked the first one, you’ll like Hysterical. Enjoy.
17. An Argument with Myself by Jens Lekman
18. The Whole Love by Wilco
19. My Goodness by My Goodness
20. My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men
21. Gloss Drop by Battles
22. Showroom of Compassion by CAKE
23. A New Kind of House EP by Typhoon
24. EP by Grouplove
25. Fan Chosen Covers (Best of) by Eef Barzelay
26. TKOL RMX 1234567 by Radiohead
27. Organ Music Not Virbraphone Like I’d Hoped by Moonface
28. Heavy Boots & Underwoods by Ben Fisher
29. The Rip Tide by Beirut
30. Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.
31. I Am Very Far by Okkervil River