Reviews in 200 Words

TV on the Radio, "Nine Types of Light"

In Album, podcast on April 27, 2011 at 8:15 am

Let’s get this out there first: Not the best TV on the Radio album. But still, there’s so much to enjoy. Start with the funk. No band today has a snappier, crisper and more danceable rhythm section. Conjuring Prince, the Meters and Parliament, they add in a modern, almost metallic ambiance that has become their sound – the TV on the Radio sound.

They’ve also become dependable, and that’s the point from which any disappointment in this album springs. There are dud tracks: “Repetition” suffers from its namesake malady. “Caffeinated Consciousness” is a terrible title for a boring song. When they win, though, TV on the Radio win big. “New Cannonball Blues” barrels along like a Maglev train. “Keep Your Heart” is a love song for the two-thousand-oughts.

Dependable, yes, but not without surprises. Always turning the mirror on society, the band doesn’t seem content to brood on the anxiety and paranoia that fueled so many of their earlier lyrics. They have (sometimes shockingly so) found something to like about where we are as a civilization – and where they are as human beings with heart. Turns out it’s a confident, peacocking, sexy place with a dance party for the ages.

~ Jay Cullis

Click here to download this week’s official Beat Jab Podcast, featuring songs from TV on the Radio’s newest effort (plus a couple other gems).

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