- Cullman, Alabama


April 27, 2013

MUSIC REVIEW: Rock gets brutal as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Knife boost volume

After some four years away, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs looked in danger of needing a new name.

The "Who Who Whos" was looking more appropriate than the original — which, by the way, isn't in homage to the Beatles' "yeah yeah yeah." The trio is from New York, so you can pronounce it like a disbelieving Brooklyn "yeah, yeah, yeah." Maybe say it after you're told the new CD, "Mosquito," is excellent and worth the wait.

The band returns to its raw roots on the title track. Karen O sounds like Siouxsie Sioux in punk's heyday as she intones "I'll suck your blood." The cover has a nasty picture of a big insect about to do just that to a baby.

The group, now 13 years in the business, has moved away from the dance synths that fired "It's Blitz." This time, we get disco, gospel choir and roots reggae. Most of it works superbly.

Flaming Lips

"The Terror," by U.S. experimental rockers the Flaming Lips, also flirts with everything from jazz to psychedelic rock.

Leader Wayne Coyne employs his studio mastery not just to show off. According to a news release, this is an album about life and love. Aren't they all? The downbeat songs such as "You Are Alone" come close to matching the previous high of "Do You Realize?"

The man known to his family as William Adams — and to most of us as — has been endlessly inventive in his production and writing for the Black Eyed Peas.

This doesn't always gel when he goes solo, as on "#willpower," which is propped up by a lot of supporting stars. Friends such as Eva Simons, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus provide vocals on his singles over the past year, all of which are included.

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