I feel like Sean and John are bigger Yeah Yeah Yeah fans than I, and therefore should probably be reviewing this latest outing from the venerable NYC trio. But whatever, I’ve been a fan even longer than those dudes, just to a lesser degree. And unlike John, I’m not the kind of person that has pined for the early days when the band’s sound was far more scrappier and unhinged. In fact, I was quite impressed with the way Yeah Yeah Yeah’s managed to mature and evolve at such a rapid pace over the last decade. Mosquito, however sees the band struggling to push their sound forward, as it feels like they’re not sure whether to try and recapture some of the simplicity of their early stuff, or to keep exploring the heartfelt balladry and dance-pop sheen of their excellent 2009 release, It’s Blitz!
I guess from the moment I got a peek at that bonkers album cover, I should’ve known that there’d be a healthy dose of weirdness on Mosquito, and quite frankly I feel like the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s glop on that weirdness just a little too thick here. I guess I can kind of get behind the kookiness of the title track, where Karen O repeatedly threatens to suck all of our collective blood, since it is kind of charming in a stupid kind of way. But unfortunately the album also features songs like “Area 52” and “Buried Alive”, which are just stupid in a stupid kind of way.
The thing I’ve always enjoyed about Yeah Yeah Yeah’s oddly enough is their slower songs. There’s just something about the way a ferocious vocal presence like Karen O is able to open up and bare her soul, and that’s why YYY’s songs like “Cheated Hearts” and “Skeletons” are the ones I find myself returning to the most. There are a few hints of this towards the back half of this album, as the final three tracks have that heartfelt quality to them. But it just feels like too little too late, and it can’t make up for the fact that despite having its moments, Mosquito ultimately fails to live up to what this group has done so far.
Favorite Tracks: “Sacrilege”, “Despair”, “Wedding Song”