A short review of a very good new album
Released in 2006, TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Mountain was an instantly appealing album that sounded like no other, thanks to impressive vocals and stunning production values. The record appeared on many “Best of” lists, and set up a great deal of hype for the band’s newest album, Dear Science. Luckily for us, TV on the Radio manages to impress yet again, releasing one of the year’s most compelling albums.
The most important element of Dear Science is the sound. Nothing on the album sounds particularly like any other music, popular or otherwise. At best, TV on the Radio can be described as a soul or gospel band with electronic elements, mixed with the work of David Bowie. This combination, while strange on paper, works brilliantly. As a start point, “Dancing Choose” allows the listener to enter the realm of TV on the Radio. The upbeat tone, wild horns and engaging lyrics (including “drowning butterflies”) are all great, but are enhanced by crazed production. The dense noise is enthralling and claustrophobic. Your ears need to hear this.
After accepting the basis of the band, everything else falls into place. Nigh-maniacal falsetto vocals blend with amazing percussion and a wall of sound to engage both the ears and mind. Romantic themes and political protest join together in the 11 songs, including the memorable “Halfway Home,” the danceable “Golden Age,” and legitimately touching “Lover’s Day.” Anyone interested in the artistic progression of popular music should definitely pick up Dear Science and be amazed by one of the best releases of the year.