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I’ve been meaning to blog about TV on the Radio’s new album for the last month or so, but now is the perfect time as I’ve received some nice and legal MP3s from the album to share with you all and a reminder to U.S readers that the album is out on the 12th of September (It’s been out since 3rd July in Europe).
TV on the Radio are a unique-sounding band. On their album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes this uniqueness mainly came from the vocal interplay from Tunde and Kyp but at times the music lacked focus and ended up being one of those records that was a lot of work to listen to. When they got it right, it was fantastic as on “Staring at the Sun” (no .7 on my favourite songs list last year).
I’m delighted to say then, on Return to Cookie Mountain, the band have got everything right. The meandering songs from their previous album has been replaced by tighter and altogether more engaging song structures resulting in a poppier, more accessible album. Opener “I was a Lover” sets the tone with its hypnotic horn hook and melancholic vocals (“I’m locked in my bedroom / so send back the clowns”). Tunde’s lyrics will always be the voice of the lonely and the dejected but the album sounds like triumph and allows you to lock yourself into it as if it was another world. There is not a bad song here and the album flows as if it demands to be listened to sequentially.
Favourite track is definitely “Wolf Like Me” with its paean to animalistic carnal desires. Thumping drum beats drive the album’s most upbeat track and the lyrics are some of TVOTR’s best (“Dream me oh dreamer / down to the floor / open my hands and let them weave onto yours “). Bass, synths and fast guitar collide until the bridge when everything falls away into space before all the instruments are brought back till the ending refrain of “Howling Forever” and some swathing horns bring the track to conclusion.
The U.S release of the album comes with a few bonus tracks, one of which is an EL-P remix of “Hours” which he turns into a Massive Attack sounding electronic spacey workout.
Just to reconfirm then – one of the albums of the year.
TV on the Radio