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Mosquito (Deluxe)

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Album Review

Since Fever to Tell, with each album the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have challenged their audience with their changes, and Mosquito is no exception. A 180 from It's Blitz!'s flashy electro sheen, the band's fourth album downplays synths, programmed beats, and other gadgetry in favor of drums, guitars, and a mix of rock and inward-looking ballads that occasionally recalls Show Your Bones. Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase reunite with longtime producers David Sitek and Nick Launay — who were honorary members of the band by this point — and they take the trio in any direction they want to go. Since "Maps," some of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' most exciting songs show their vulnerability. O sounds full-throated and full-hearted as she sings "your sun is my sun" on "Despair," the kind of unabashed love song the band has excelled at since that breakthrough power ballad. Likewise, "Wedding Song" — which O actually sang at her nuptials — is genuine and intimate enough to strike a near-universal chord. Meanwhile, Mosquito's loudest songs are more playfully nostalgic than ferocious, which in its own way is in keeping with the album's often reflective tone. "Area 52" and the title track spin tales about aliens and bloodsucking bugs that are much sillier than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' early days; as impressive as O's wail still is, there's a campiness to these songs that almost feels like the band is having a fond laugh about when they used to do this all the time. Indeed, they sound most engaged on Mosquito when they're somewhere between its extremes. The lead track, "Sacrilege," showcases their way with a slow-building epic and plays like a more daring kissing cousin of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" as O sings "Fallin' for a guy/Who fell down from the sky" as a gospel choir rises up to meet her — a risky move, since adding it to rock songs can be transcendent but more often than not just sounds like corny co-opting. Here, it actually works, and the way that the band incorporates dub elements on "Under the Earth" and the excellent "Slave" — which sounds like Siouxsie and the Banshees recording at Studio One — and the cameo from Dr. Octagon on "Buried Alive" are nearly as impressive. Something of a grower, Mosquito has perhaps the widest range of sounds and moods the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have ever presented on one set of songs. It might not be as cohesive as their best albums, but the standout songs rival their finest moments. [A Deluxe Edition was also released.]

Customer Reviews

Amazing band!

Amazing. buy it now! Roni and Ruth love them!

Yeah yeah yeahs- Mosquito

Yeah yeah yeahs have always surprised with their energy, musical originality and song-writing... However, not this time around. This really is an awful album and a real disappointment. At their peak, expectations are high... This is a real let down unfortunately. 90% of it is boring unorganised sound. Unusual to think they hadn't ever previously written a bad song... Until now.

Dare to change?

This new offering brings a change to these rockers.

Not so much as experimenting with sounds but playing, having fun with them. Daring to change from what are expected of them.

Though on the first play, may not seem as engaging as previous albums. Getting to know The YYY'S again after the break is well worth doing. As with all good relationships sticking with it brings its rewards.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Discovered in the wake of the Strokes' popularity and the subsequent garage rock revival, New York's art punk trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are comprised of singer Karen O, guitarist Nicolas Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. O met Chase at Ohio's Oberlin College and met Zinner through friends after she transferred to NYU. Zinner and O formed the band in 2000; originally, they were a folky duo called Unitard, but they went electric after being inspired by Ohio's legendary avant punk scene. After the drummer...
Full bio
Mosquito (Deluxe), Yeah Yeah Yeahs
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