Plotting the evolution of Yeah Yeah Yeahs across the three previous records has meant following a story of growing confidence, lessening gimmicks and an impressive exhibition of embracing the uniqueness of their early days, while never relying on that or becoming a pale imitations of themselves. Now as I hit their fourth album, released a decade after their first, we’re hitting the kind of age when dialling things down too much could turn into becoming old and boring. But with the goodwill established be the earlier albums, I had high hopes for Mosquito.
High hopes supported straight away with Sacrilege. That great Yeah Yeah Yeahs industrial tinged sound, complimented by a gospel choir. Not a combination I ever would have predicted, but a combination that works surprisingly well. Speaking of surprisingly effective combinations, following Sacrilege with Subway is a massive mood shift that would seem jarring and even off putting on paper, but in practice, they fit just right. Karen O’s haunting vocals over a rhythm set by a literal subway train rattling along the rails, it’s minimalist, but smothering at the same time. (more…)