Album Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'Mosquito'

16 May 2013 | 4:49 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs grow up.

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Let's ignore the fact that it is difficult to understand exactly what is going on with the cover art to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's fourth record, 'Mosquito.' It is as weird as Karen O, which in some way is fitting, and makes no sense with the fairly refined and serious tone to the music featured on the actual record.

Take for example album opener and first single 'Sacrilege', which while being incredibly catchy, also features a gospel choir to open the album in a stupendous fashion. The song creeps in with fiddly guitars and a cruise like drum beat before building into the Yeah Yeah Yeah's own house of worship.
Things then drift along ever so gently with a relaxed vocal driven number titled 'Subway' before picking up the pace with the percussion heavy titled track, which stomps along while Karen O threatens to "suck your blood." The album is for the most part quite reserved and subdued by the band's usual standards, there is a lounge feel in tracks such as 'These Paths', an album stand out thanks to its atmospheric synth lines and electronic titbits.

In the moments where the band do revert back to their dirty rocks style, such as 'Area 52', things feel a little immature when compared to the refined sound of the softer material, almost as if album flow is sacrificed for nostalgia. Kool Keith makes a gust appearance under his alter-ego Dr. Octagon in the groove heavy 'Buried Alive' before another solemn synth and percussion track, 'Always'. 

The record ends with the slow building 'Wedding Song', no irony in the title, this song could actually, and probably will be, used in many a wedding, thanks to its organs and lovelorn lyrics.

'Mosquito' is certainly the least energetic of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs catalogue, but this is in no way a bad thing. This is the mature version of the group, focused on using their individual elements in the simplest and most effective ways resulting in something very different for their fans.

1. Sacrilege

2. Subway

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3. Mosquito

4. Under The Earth

5. Slave

6. These Paths

7. Area 52

8. Buried Alive

9. Always

10. Despair

11. Wedding Song