On their second album, Mosquitos' mixture of samba and indie-pop is a little brisker and a lot more appealing than it was the first time around.
"Sunshine Barato" further integrates the elements of the New York-based trio's style, with more intricate arrangements and more polyrhythmic percussion. The latter modification is discreet, as it should be; Mosquitos' lilting melodies could easily be overwhelmed. The blues-rock "Domesticada" almost does just that, but such songs as "Blue Heart" and "Shooting Stars" augment the sauntering beat without overpowering their essential appeal.
That charm is embodied by Brazilian singer Juju Stulbach, whose breathy vocals suggest Paris's Francoise Hardy as much as Rio's Astrud Gilberto.
Multi-instrumentalist and co-producer Chris Root sings, too, but his vocals mostly support Stulbach's. On the band's debut, the two vocalists took turns, which made Mosquitos sound as if they had merely declared a truce between their principal inspirations. This time around, however, the band's music is fully blended. Stulbach is still the only Mosquito who sings in two languages, but "Sunshine Barato" is stylistically bilingual.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Thursday at Iota. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Mosquitos, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8105. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)