Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Mosquito’

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Aidin Vaziri | It’s no stretch to call the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fourth album the strangest one yet. The opening track, “Sacrilege,” hits its crescendo with a full gospel choir; “Subway” uses the sound of the Brooklyn J/M/Z line for its percussion; and “Under the Earth” explores what it would be like if the Stooges recorded “No Fun” at the studio Lee “Scratch” Perry burned to the ground. The New York trio fronted by the wily Karen O claims it drew its primary inspiration from repeated listens to Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and the debut album by chanteuse Anika and Portishead’s Geoff Barrow. If only it were that simple. Despite the garish cover art, “Mosquito” is a well-considered piece of work that reinforces the band’s brittle dance-punk roots while restlessly trying to switch things up. It swings from stomping indie-rock anthems to “Maps”-style ballads, along the way taking brilliant detours such as the glitchy disco of “These Paths.” Unlike the latest from onetime garage compatriots Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs prove growing up doesn’t mean growing dull.

 

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