4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mosquito (Audio CD)
Four years on since 2009′s It's Blitz sees Yeah Yeah Yeah's a decade on from their from fan favourite début, Fever to Tell, return with album number four, Mosquito.
Leaving behind the electronic sound of their third album the band return back to the sound of Fever to Tell, to the delight of the fans. The album features Gospel Choirs, Subway trains, distorted vocals and unfortunately, a rapper.
The album begins with tasty lead single "Sacrilege" that features, yes, a gospel choir. On first listen, I was like "Wait, what?" put a couple of listens later a past the original bemusement, I've learned to love this song. I think that the gospel choir adds to the song, it gives it it's "soul". Karen O herself said that without the choir, the song wouldn't be as good as it is, and I agree. It's these little things that change a song from four boring chords into something ear grabbing and great.
Second track "Subway" is a beautiful quite song similar to those found on second album Show Your Bones. With the use of a subway car running along the tracks as the "beat" to the album, the band so their soft side for the first time on the album. To a point the song, with the subway repeating over and over and the slow tempo of the song, and the general calmness to Karen's voice that can be manic at any given moment, has a hypnotic quality to it, a soothing, "let's go to sleep now" feel to it that I really like.
"Mosquito" follows with a strong chorus Karen chanting, "I'll suck your blood" and buzzing in the usual ways she has. The quartet of strong songs that begin the album is completed with "Under the Earth" to finish probably one of the best opening streaks to an album I've seen. It has some reggae vibes on it which I'm cool with and the song works really well. We are seeing a more down to earth Yeah Yeah Yeah's. That doesn't mean quite though, because the album does have volume to it, it's just really good rock music that relaxes me.
"Slave" is an alright song, but as track five turns into track six, "These Paths" turns into "Area 51″, it all seems a little filler. They seem lacklustre in comparison to the first four tracks. Okay, so they have their good moments, "These Paths" has a charming intro and "Area 52″ has sirens blasting in the background warning us about aliens invading and the humorous sci-fi lyrics make for a fun song, but none of the tracks blow me away.
"Buried Alive" is the albums low point. It feels weak coming off the back of the fun couple of minuets we had with "Area 52″ and with Dr Octagon making a contribution wins no fevers with me. It seems like, they made the song to put him in. Sure at least he fits comfortably in the song, it's just he raps over a guitar solo, and the song doesn't please me.
"Always", the "engagement song" starts with a drum loop that I think I heard on an old keyboard one day. Going into the home stretch the music picks up in quality and "Always" is going on the right direction. Coupled with "Despair" that really builds up to quite a climatic end with pounding toms and tremolo guitars it leads us nicely into album closer, "Wedding Song". The final track opens with the beautiful sounds of birds in an "oasis" in Texas. It'll make you drift off into a sea of honey drifting on by, it really is a very good end to the album. An album which I had so much expectation for, that ultimately fell short.
There are some really good songs, but the songs around them fail to hold up to their quality and the album feels like a solid yet mixed bag. There is one too many bumps on this ride and there wasn't enough energy throughout the album, which is not enough for me.