A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the songs on this album are unusual and dense in this overdubbed production. The band never presents us with violently explicit or crude lyrics, but it makes for a strange, abstract-beyond-belief trip in sound nonetheless. There are references to Satan, who requests partygoers to dance (in "Satan Said Dance"), the randomly placed line "my fair-lady pill pop" (from "Yankee Go Home"), slightly morbid allusions to politics and death in "Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?" ("And I'm touched by the same sad feeling of dread/Just to know that you can't wait to see me dead…I'm at the end/This here my rope"), and the word "cock" appears in "Arm and Hammer."
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What's the story?
The myth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah started in 2005, stirred by buzz that they evaded record labels and PR agencies to make a six-figure profit through Internet hoopla alone. But that was before they fell short of delivering a sophomore album that consummated sublime potential. SOME LOUD THUNDER is the downside of premature indie rock glory: The band falls prey and strays from their organic music roots too much. Disjointed, stranger-than-David Byrne chops, psychedelic delicacy, jittery wit, pumping rapture, and aquatic harmonies all remotely exist in glimmers like \"Emily Jean Stock\" with charming lyrics (\"There's no one else/there is no one quite so perfect\") and the fantastic, haunting \"Yankee Go Home\": \"Senses burn man/when the deck-hand/plays a flute which/reminds me of you.\"
Is it any good?
Some Loud Thunder is a warbled, far-reaching retreat from Clap Your Hands' skittish debut. Deep under squandered, distorted production you will find an energetic band with extensive talent, seriously experimenting with sound. But lack of crispness bogs this album down to hazy muck in problematic tracks like the unfinished, amateur air of "Underwater (you and me)" and odd dance-party number "Satan Said Dance."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the art of writing lyrics and how they don't necessarily have to make sense to everyone, but can be written in the vein of stream-of-consciousness or uncanny poetics. Families can also compare Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to less complex, more tangible indie-rock bands. What do you hear probing the background of this album? Cowbells, gawky guitar, static synthesizer are all magical elements of the musical potency. What images do they evoke in your music-listening experience?