Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been on a creative hot streak since 2003's Fever to Tell. Ten years of great music is no small feat, and even the least of their songs in that time span has been engaging. So it's a shock that Mosquito is so tedious. If there's one thing I never thought I'd accuse Karen O and company of, it's being boring. I guess I assumed that, were they ever to put out a bad record, it would be some kind of endearing train wreck. But here's Mosquito, their first bad record and it is, to add insult to injury, undercooked and uninspired.
The first track, "Sacrilege," starts out promisingly before taking a nosedive into hideousness by transforming into indie rock gospel, as if Bloodletting-era Concrete Blonde hired the black choir from Madonna's "Like a Prayer." It's truly awful. Then there's the discordant "Buried Alive," which answers a question no one ever asked: What would Dr. Octagon sound like rapping over the film score to The Crow? Even songs that conjure the right mood, like "Slave" or "Area 52," suffer from a lack of ideas and, in the latter case, idiotic lyrics.
On some of these songs you can glimpse the paths not taken by Mosquito. "These Paths" and "Wedding Song" suggest the band was at least considering an ambient phase that might have been interesting to see explored with conviction.
There is little to like about Mosquito. Even the cover art sucks.