It is a “soul record”, is what Karen O says about Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fourth album, titled ‘Mosquito’. To those of you who already considered turning away, take a look at the album cover. Now read on.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an indie rock band from New York. The members, Karen O (the eccentric vocalist and pianist), Nick Zinner (keyboardist and guitarist), and Brian Chase (drummer) have explored genres like alternative rock, punk, post-punk and more. They’re probably best known for their last album ‘It’s Blitz’ that had some amazing songs like ‘Zero’, ‘Soft Shock’ and ‘Heads Will Roll’. Yes, the very same song whose remix was featured in the movie Project X.
Mosquito has something for everyone, according to Karen O. Splendid if you wish the band expanded their genres. But fear not, those of you who wished they’d stay the same. Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven’t completely abandoned their parent genre. Their typical style is hidden in each and every song on this album.
The first track, ‘Sacrilege’, was written in New Orleans and contains semi religious undertones. The excellent vocals and riffs are joined by a gospel choir, making it a dramatic, albeit powerful song to begin the album with.
If the video befuddles some of you, just remember how Memento was filmed. Then watch it again.
On ‘Subway’, Karen wanted to write another New York City song, first one being a B-side. They actually use a subway sample throughout the song that, according to Nick, is something that people will make babies to. No idea about that, but it does have the power to seduce the listener with its smooth sounds, slithery guitars and the sultry voice of Karen O. ‘Subway’ is something you listen to when you’re still on internet past 3 am at night, not wanting to sleep, yet unwilling to carry on.
With ‘Mosquito’, they immediately go back to their styling of ‘Down Boy’ from ‘Is Is’. And of course, with a song about mosquito, how can there not be a buzzing sound in the background? Listen to the lyrics here; they are bound to amuse you. Those flying things really do irk Karen a lot.
‘Area 52’ is Nick’s dream come true, he loves his riffs, is crazy about aliens and has an awesome time here. The lyrics sound like a conversation between the aliens and a man. You know, one of those men who stand around with a board that reads “The Mother ship will come for me”.
The band’s experimentation is evident enough with ‘Under the Earth’. This was inspired by a reggae band, and utilizes the bass guitar in a splendid manner. ‘Buried alive’ is where they collaborated with ex-LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy and rapper Kool Keith. This song may not earn itself many fans.
The final track of this album, ‘Wedding song’ was recorded near an oasis in the desert in west Texas. The place was full of birds at that time. So naturally, they used relevant sounds in the song. The ‘Wedding Song’ is Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ version of a love and commitment song. It is quite fitting to imagine this song being played during the coda of a movie/show.
Mosquito is like a giant super-set that contains many subsets of topics. The songs all jump from this to that to something you may not have even expected to be there. If you’re looking for a common theme throughout the album, you will not find any. There’s wedding,there’s afterlife,there are aliens and there are mosquitoes. Some songs go deep in lyrics, some are as transparent as a child’s first attempt at rhyming, and lack metaphors. This album is, like Karen said, fun. And that’s how it should be looked at. There’s something of everything and something for every one.
Standout tracks: Subway, Under the Earth, Slave.
Mosquito is due for release on April 16th,2013.