Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #52 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell

Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

#52 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Fever to Tell is arguably the grittiest record from a female vocalist this decade. We talked about Karen O’s impact on youth counterculture at the turn of the decade, an influence which still peppers metropolitan streets even today. It wasn’t all flash, though – flash never leaves an impact on the fashion world if there isn’t substance behind it. Fever to Tell was that substance.

Split roughly into two halves – gritty and snarling on the front end, introspective and vulnerable on the latter half – this is a case where each personality validates the other. “Rich” and “Date With the Night” flashed punk-rock glamour, mapping out an exhaustive but unapologetic look at a weekender’s lifestyle; “Man” and “Black Tongue” took all things romantic and locked them in a wicked deathgrip. “Cold Light,” though, is the pivot that proves it isn’t all rough and tumble. Karen O turns softer: “cold light, hot night / be my heater, be my lover” – an admission that even the toughest need support. This opens the gates for mega-hit “Maps,” a shared secret moment between road-weary lovers, and finishing note “Modern Romance” (plus hidden track), surprisingly subdued notes that play like the exhaustion at the end of a breakneck life. Brian Chase and Nick Zinner chart the ups and downs of twentysomething recklessness with ease, but it is no question that this is Karen O’s band, and Fever to Tell is her magnum opus.

Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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