Track-by-track instant review of Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito

The always-exciting Yeah Yeah Yeahs dropped their new album Mosquito today, April 16th.

People should be stoked to hear this one. It’s their first album since 2009’s incredible (and different) It’s Blitz and this one is partially produced by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) and James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem)(also Nick Launay, who has worked with Arcade Fire, etc).

Enough said. I’m not even going to babble here. Just react.

To the music!

Mosquito Tracklist:

01. Sacrilege … wow that was an intense open. Full gospel choir. Daark.

02. Subway … Dreamy. Holy hell I love this song. It reminds me why I’ve often thought that Karen O has the best female voice in the business right now. Can already tell YYY’s fans are going to love this album. Best song candidate here.

03. Mosquito … I love it when these guys rock. And they love to rock. Pretty simple song here, but effective when turned up! Nick Zinner has never met an instrument he didn’t destroy. Brian Chase is not familiar with the phrase “ease-up on those drums, kid.” If they were, Karen would have eaten them.

04. Under the Earth … Really starting to like that no sound has sounded at all similar so far. This is kinda offbeat reggae, kinda marching. The feel of the album is just as spacey but less electro than It’s Blitz. Lots of different sounds going on.

05. Slave … Drums! That always gets my ear. I love driving, building, tribal drumming. L. and I were just discussing how quiet the two boys in the band are during interviews, and how they need a Karen O. to bring them up. But when you listen, you can see that, during a jam, they all yell in their own way. The best YYY’s songs are three people screaming in unison. (Best song candidate, for sure.)

06. These Paths … First song that sounds a little more programmed. They’re using it right, though, cascading layers of dreamy keys over intense keys over drum machines. More beats. As a self-contained organism I wish this song was building towards a bit more something, but I certainly  see where it fits in the scheme of the album. Acid trip interlude.

07. Area 52 … ..And here we go back up. Nick likes aliens. I like Nick. This is a straight-up stripped-down YYY style rocker. A moderate pace, built back into something weird with scrambled voices and tapped synths. This band can be so complicated and so not. This album really displays the breadth of everything they do.

08. Buried Alive feat. Dr. Octagon … Yes, this features a rap. Don’t need to say anything else except that pretty much sums up how far in every direction they went with this album.

09. Always … Wow. This is different, too. Slow with clacking claves. Almost tropical. Like an island song. They called it their “engagement song.”

10. Despair … Best song candidate. If you’ve listened to the YYY’s catalog from Fever to Tell to It’s Blitz!, you still probably don’t have any idea what to expect right now. Let me say – a song like this something that would fit on any of their three previous LPs, yet is something all its own. Just listen. Somehow this song made me joyful. “There’s nothing to fear inside…”

11. Wedding Song … So much ambience stretched into tribal drums. Mosquito is great writing music… Yet somehow I.. keep stopping to…… listen…

This album will grip you, just like everything the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done. Take a moment to chill and listen to this as an album, and in headphones (like many of us did with our LPs). These cats still make cohesive albums. I appreciate that.

There was a rumor I read that Karen wouldn't have done anything that didn't feel new. I respect that. This is a band that is maturing before our eyes, and without growing pains -- in fact, they're killing it. If you're expecting Fever to Tell or Show Your Bones or even Is Is, it's just not happening. Pull those albums out and give them a listen (they're all still great). Mosquito is next. It's time is now.

I never walk away from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' music unchanged.

Comments

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  • Just starting to get my head around this and barely noticing the Murphy influence. Maybe I'll see more after each listen. Great review.

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