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Hysterical

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 Release. Their first new album in more than three years, Hysterical marks a major milestone in the continuing evolution of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Born out of an intensely collaborative process in which songs were constructed, dismantled, and then rebuilt anew, the album finds the band their most confident and creative, expertly expanding upon its already distinctive sound. From the chrome-plated licks of 'Maniac' and the title track to the sheets of eddying synths and emotive motorik pulsebeats of Into 'Your Alien Arms' and 'Ketamine and Ecstasy', the band delivers up sonically provocative pop music that is simultaneously jubilant, mesmeric, and altogether infectious. Hysterical reveals Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to be a wholly developed band in full command of their unique artistic gifts.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Same Mistake
  2. Hysterical
  3. Misspent Youth
  4. Maniac
  5. Into Your Alien Arms
  6. In A Motel
  7. Yesterday, Never
  8. Idiot
  9. Siesta (For Snake)
  10. Ketamine and Ecstasy
  11. The Witness' Dull Surprise
  12. Adam s Plane


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • ASIN: B005FT2ML6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Red on Black TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
3.5 stars

There is a "holy grail" for discerning music fans, a pursuit that demands a never-ending quest for that band which enters the zeitgeist and somehow builds on the legacy of Talking Heads and takes it forward. David Byrne's seminal outfit were smart, intellectual, erudite, boundary busting and most of all cool as permafrost with unit sales to match. Was it any wonder that they were favourite group of Bret Easton Ellis's demented anti hero Patrick Bateman in the uber black comedy "American Psycho"? In 2006 the Brooklyn five piece "Clap your Hands and Say Yeah" (CYHSY) started a ramshackle DIY internet operation to ship their album from their front room and all of a sudden become a sensation. The ghost of Talking Heads was invoked with David Byrne and David Bowie almost falling over themselves to endorse their eponymous self titled debut. This was entirely understandable since on songs like "Over and Over again (lost and found)" and the "The Skin Of My Yellow County Teeth" they produced urbane sparkling pop music with Alec Ounsworth's vocals straying dangerously close to Byrne's but staying the right side of pastiche. It all promised a future so bright that they needed to wear shades.

Sadly you know what comes next. In 2007 the CYHSY released their second album "Some loud thunder" and it was a truly sorry sophomore stinker and they slipped from view. After a four year gap it would be pleasing to report that their third proper album "Hysterical" marks a return to the diamond form of their debut but not quite. Still it is a very accomplished effort and one, which does take them much closer to the mainstream following the experimental mish mash of "Some Loud Thunder". Opener "Same mistake" is packed with jingling guitars, pounding drums and concrete slabs of synths.
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Format: Audio CD
Clap Your Hands came in with a huge bang on their self-titled album. What followed was a soft whimper that made a lot of people wonder if they truly had lost all that they had in one fell sweep. Hysterical is a step back to catchy tunes, wonderfully odd lyrics and that certain light sound that was present on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This time around the production value is much higher than either of the previous albums (thanks to John Congleton, who also fronts The Paper Chase) and the songs are much more accessible as a result. Ounsworth's vocals are cleaner and easier to make out. There is a heavier use of synths and they produce an echoey atmosphere throughout that never really gives up (especially on Idiot, which is by far my favorite track on the album). However this album may require a 2nd or 3rd listen to really kick in, as the songs can sound similar to each other in one go. This has reimbursed my faith in the band, and I'm interested to see where they will go next.
Favorite Tracks: Same Mistake, Misspent Youth, Idiot, Ketamine and Ecstasy, and Adam's Plane
Overall Rating: 8 or 4/5
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Format: Audio CD
If you’re a fan of XTC you no doubt have the capacity to dig what I can only find irritating and stressful. Vocals that were fun for but a moment, quickly become annoying and overbearing, like an effects peddle that’s just been overused, especially when coupled with their redundant long one note song lead-outs and abrupt endings. I’ve tried hard with this band, and with three albums under their belts, and an equal number of EP’s, I still can’t put together more than eight songs that I find worthy, and even when I do, I end up saying, “Na ...” unable to justify the iPod space, burning those tracks to disc, or even committing them to cassette tape.

“So,” I hear you ask, “just what brought you this far with Clap Your Hands?” And to that, all I can to is hand you a copy of the brilliant movie The Great Buck Howard, in which the band sings “Telling The Truth & Going Away,” a stylish bit of Dylan-esq wanderlust that’s not featured on any album, and will have you too investigating this strange little band in hopes of finding a bit more of this new attitude ... though walking away, hands thrust deeply into your pockets, a bit peeved that you didn’t listen to me, and wishing you had any of that money and time back, even to spend it on a burger and a coke.

Review by Jenell Kesler
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