Yello, Zebra

The Swiss technofunk duo's hit the skids lately post-Flag, and this isn't the album that really rescues them from it. Yet those creative doldrums don't entirely overrun this outing and there are some genuinely good tracks amidst the average ones. Dieter Meier has never been a strong lyricist and some of his weakest lines are here (such as "Fat Cry" or the otherwise amusing "How How"), and several of the grooves are recycled multiple times ("Suite 909" in the much better "Tremendous Pain" and "How How"'s later "premix" track), but the beats are fun (in particular the silly throwback "S.A.X.") and the lighter, less overproduced tone is welcome. Blank and Meier have done better work elsewhere and this album doesn't really measure up to their talent, but enough high points balance the lows for even casual fans to enjoy. (Content: no concerns.)