Sublime companion to kiddies’ book adaption from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman
Every now and again a record comes along that can just bowl you over. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O’s first solo effort is one such slab of wax and to be honest it’s as good as anything she’s done in her day job. Don’t be expecting a straight forward verse/chorus/middle-eight structure, though, as this is the soundtrack to Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are and most of the tunes are fragments and ideas that drift in and out of the record like smoke from a campfire.
Her backing band, ‘The Kids’, are an untrained children’s choir. At times all the voices are so in synch it’s hard to tell which is which, and their contribution is surprisingly heart-warming. Of course, her fellow Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmates also turn up on the record (as well as members of The Raconteurs, Liars, The Bird And Yhe Bee and many more). When everything is said and done, though, Where The Wild Things Are is very much Miss O’s baby.
All of the songs are acoustic-based. ‘Worried Shoes’ is as beautiful as it is haunting, ‘Rumpus’ is full of impish energy and ‘Food Is Still Hot,’ (which is basically Karen humming into a microphone backed by a battered old acoustic) is one of the best songs of the year in this writer’s opinion. If you ever doubted Karen O’s talents as a songsmith, Where The Wild Things Are is proof that she’s maturing into a very special performer indeed.