After a few years off, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs returned with their fourth album and it was definitely not what was expected. They somehow managed to mix their original hard sound into their more dance oriented sound and came up with Mosquito. Admittedly I find that a third of the album is fairly poor, especially the random track with Dr. Octagon. It also had some of the worst cover art of anything I saw last year.
The album opens on the epic “Sacriledge” a track that takes the band’s new dance style and mixes it up with some lo-fi vocals and religious themes and choruses for one the best songs on the album. “Subway” is a very somber song perfect for relaxing and ambient listens, and is even cooler considering its rhythm track is audio of an NYC subway car. The tribal sounding “Mosquito” is a testament to Brian Chase’s insane ability on the drums and the band’s extremely weird sound.
On my favourite track, “Under The Earth” the band trades in guitar for bass and it comes off amazing in this slow, groove driven song who’s clever sound engineering has a cool ambiance to it as well. “Always” is a super bright, strangely drum machine driven song, that would serve as a nice one-off repetitive song if so many of the tracks here didn’t seem to follow this go nowhere mindset.
“Despair” is one of the bands best light songs, building from its sweet, echoey start to its epic, wall of sound finish in mesmerizing beauty. “Wedding Song” has a very final sound to it and serves as a sweet, and bright song to end on. The album really only fell short on its poor tracks I haven’t mentioned and its mostly divergent path from anything the band has done before leading to an album that sounds amateurish at moments or too repetitive, and I feel it did suffer from not playing to expectations at all for the most part as the band seems like they’re searching for a voice when they already have several.