Share & Connect
After bursting onto the indie rock scene in 2003 with their first album ‘Forever to Tell’, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven’t looked back as they electrified fans with their sophomore album ‘Show Your Bones’ in 2006 and then came back in two years later with their ‘Is Is’ EP. In 2009 the band debuted a new sound with the album ‘It’s Blitz!’, and now they are back with their fourth studio album titled ‘Mosquito’. However, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ experimental new sounds have split fans down the middle where people either love it or hate it to such a degree, that even the cover of the album itself has caused controversy. Some fans and critics have dubbed the cover the worst of 2013.
Cover aside, the album has done well on the charts. Released on April 16, ‘Mosquito’ entered the Billboard 200 at number five with 38,000 copies sold in its first week, earning the band their first top ten album on the chart. The album debuted at number nine on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 9,150 copies, becoming the band’s third consecutive top ten album.
Compared to their previous albums, ‘Mosquito’ is a characteristic composition with a highlight on songs that experiment with the bizarre. At first listen, most of the songs grab you and make you curious to come back again. The album starts off on a high note with “Sacrilege.” The first single make initial indications of a change in the band’s sound with gospel choirs thrown into the mix at the end, creating a somewhat dramatic ending that the song did not need. Likewise, “Subway” was not in itself a bad song, it was just hard to get through, as it was too long and boring as it dragged on.
The rest of the album makes listening to “Subway” worth the trouble as it continues the liveliness and diversity that “Sacrilege” makes a start at. Most memorable are “Mosquito,” where the band appears to be having fun, and “Area 52″ whose comedic lyrics make for some hints of self-parody. The James Murphy-produced track “Buried Alive” with a guest chorus from Dr. Octagon, a fictional character created by rapper Kool Keith, fits perfectly with the rest of the tracks, despite initial skepticism. “Always” is a romantic ballad with a sequel in the end track “Wedding Song,” rumoured to be the follow-up to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs now legendary love song, “Maps.” These songs provide the album with a strange sense of closeness and familiarity, as the backstory is that Karen O performed it at her wedding to Barney Clay.
Overall ‘Mosquito’ has a listenability that grows on you and gets better with every listen. Yeah Yeah Yeahs move through styles and textures and have managed to capture a sound with an appeal outside of its genre. The album is somewhat choppy though as it moves from song to song but the band’s creativeness minimizes the negative impact in our opinion. ‘Mosquito’ is bizarrely beautiful and eccentric and will continue to be a highly debated album among Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fanbase.
Review verdict: 4/5
Image credit: Yeahyeahyeahs.com