Album: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito (Polydor)
Saturday 13 April 2013
The line that musicians do their best work during their early years is so well-worn as to be a truism. And yet it's also thoroughly defied by NYC's Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
When they arrived on a wave of hype in the early Noughties, the art-rockers were a transient proposition, more notable for the bottomless, strutting charisma of frontwoman Karen O than the limited musical backing. And yet 2009's It's Blitz! found them transformed: by synths, melodies and emotional light and shade.
And if that third LP proved their range, this follow-up positively revels in its ranginess – while also serving up irresistible tunes. Lead-off single "Sacrilege" is a seasoned stadium-rock belter, complete with "Gimme Shelter"-esque gospel choir, while, contrastingly, schlocky garage-punk numbers "Mosquito" and "Area 52" make good on the album's B-movie cover art. Most interesting, meanwhile, are the excursions into dub and trip-hop on sinuous, sensual tracks such as "Slave", which recall Karen O's sometime collaborator Santigold.
Closing with a "Wedding Song", no less – a gorgeous, soaring ballad marked by pattering drum tattoos and Balearic ambience – it's the rare sound of a band growing up without growing old.
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