"As Always," the first song on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's fourth album, is an enormous-sounding rush of ambient noise, thunderclap snare shots, iridescent guitar beauty and singer Alec Ounsworth guardedly assuring, "Sooner or later I will change/And we will be all right." The mix of rich ambition and shaky optimism defines a band that's traded clattery low-fi post-punk for music that's high-drama and hook-hearty. "Beyond Illusion" sets dazed-angel vocals atop tense dance rock; on "Coming Down," Ounsworth and the National's Matt Berninger go soul-searching. Only Run is an album that rarely seems overblown, even when the songs are big enough to fill a cathedral.
From The Archives Issue 1212: July 3, 2014