Karen O and the Kids
Where the Wild Things Are
Wed, Oct 14, 2009 (5:33 p.m.)
Evoking a spelling bee as much as storybook, Karen O’s soundtrack (the Kids include fellow Yeah Yeah Yeahs Brian Chase and Nick Zinner, members of Liars, Deerhunter and The Dead Weather and a children’s choir) features the airy, bouncing “All Is Love.” Her most spirited cut to date—not to mention a complete 180 from March’s synthed-up Yeah Yeah Yeahs release It’s Blitz!, its chanted lyrics “L-O-V-E/It’s a mystery” precede petulant manifesto “Capsize” and its repeated “C-A-P-S-I-Z-E all the way home/I’m gonna tilt awhile/M-I-S-S-M-E all you want/You’re gonna wait awhile.”
But the bulk of the quickly passing 40 minutes is a more subdued beast. Opener “Igloo” subsists on acoustic strums and humming; ditto the somehow sparser “Cliffs,” “Lost Fur” and “Food Is Still Hot,” while “Hideaway” is a languid tale of loss. And a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Worried Shoes” amounts to little more than piano, chimes, O’s plaintive voice and tentative percussion beats.
It’s moody stuff, subtle in its shifts, and deceptively untamed. As in the film, more lurks beneath than the surface might indicate. If YYYs fans find themselves at a loss, well, they probably just lack the imagination.