Staying close to the DIY independent publishing and aesthetic practice of the other albums Clap Your Hand Say Yeah have put out, Hysterical does not move from that paralyzed state. Hysterical just does it much better, even if it is a snapshot of a band trying to master a somewhat boring sound, they do boring very good here. “Same Mistake” pushes the lethargic groan Ounsworth will not or cannot move beyond through the wall of boredom, verging on pop ecstasy, an ecstasy that will reach Clap Your Hands Say Yeah peak on “Maniac”. “Hysterical” searches the outlying area of “indie” pop variation and wall of sound without straying too far. “Misspent Youth”, “Into Your Alien Arms”, and “The Witness’s Dull Surprise” search the same ground from the safety of a cramped attic. “Maniac” is the incandescent, joyful, illusory restrained dance of a child who just learned to dance within the confines of his reality, living room, and with a friend who shares in the dark thoughts and silence of the lonely maniac. Every song on Hysterical sounds like the last; the album ending over and over again mimics a lucid nightmare: just when everything seems to be the visions and dark thoughts of some distant imaginary world returns with each additional close of the eyelids fighting consciousness and hopefully the end of an era of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, unless they have a magic button they have been refusing to push for a decade. It is one of the best albums of 2011.
Janet Jackson has over a billion reasons to be smiling lately.What is she worth?