Yeah Yeah Yeahs hit and miss with “Mosquito”

By BRADEN LAMMERS

Through its first three releases, the critical acclaim that followed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has continued to power the band’s notoriety. And with good reason.

With it’s fourth full-length album “Mosquito,” expect to hear the same distinct sound that has defined the New York post-punk trio.

Karen O continues to be the driving force of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs offering a pleasant balance of fight and vulnerability in her vocals. Along with guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase, the artsy, indie-punk rock band still blends in the same level of electronica it has always used. One of the best examples is in the first track, and first single, off the new album “Sacrilege.”

But somewhere along the line “Mosquito” tries too hard to branch out and reach an audience beyond those who have been attracted by the previous releases.

It’s not like they decided to create a bubblegum-pop mainstream album, and if a band continues to put out the same album release after release, it gets stale and eventually people stop paying attention.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs just took a wrong turn on a few tracks.

Record rating: 7.1 of 10

Record rating: 7.1 of 10

Electronica heavy “Area 52” comes off as forced and cliched. Gamma ray laser sounds back O’s constant refrain, “I wanna be an alien /take me please, oh alien.”

It doesn’t get much better with the next track “Buried Alive” which features Dr. Octagon. The song is not outside the general mold for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs until the rapper takes over for a verse. It’s not dreadful, just misplaced.

“Mosquito” is not without its highlights either, chief among them the aforementioned “Sacrilege.”

The band uses “Subway” to highlight the somber, susceptible side of O. Other standout tracks include “Mosquito,” which is a rock song with irreverent lyrics and the dreamy, echoey sound of “Slave.”

“Slave” takes the electronic sound that fails in other tracks and reels it in to proper effect, highlighting the bones of a punk-rock song –a signature of the best of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Record rating: 7.1 of 10

 

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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