Tv On The Radio - Dear Science
- Artist: Tv On The Radio
- Album: Dear Science
- Label: Interscope
- Year of Release: 2008
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: kev_stev on 2008-10-04
TV on the Radio have finally blown up. They are everywhere; Rolling Stone, small clubs, obscure music editorials and newspapers...so much so that even the radio and MTV are catching on. And the attention is completely deserved. In a year where some of my favorite artists of the past have flopped (not to mention any names), TV on the Radio exceeded my expectations with Dear Science; they've delivered a hard-hitting, horn-laden, dance-worthy album that is both lyrically and musically profound, stretching the limits of music even further than on their critically acclaimed predecessor, Return to Cookie Mountain.
For one, "Dancing Choose" could very well end up as song of the year. It is a song where hand-claps hiss and time signatures combust as a keyboard's fuzzy hum plays over Adebimpe's frenetic, half-rapped vocals. The song's tempo progressively builds throughout as horns begin to blare and Adebimpe caustically spurts out his grievances, "Now I'm no mad man, but that's insanity / Feast before famine, and more before family." The song falls apart before the three minute mark, ending a brief but explosive display of TV on the Radio's enormous ability.
Then there is the sprawling synth off "Golden Age," which is taken right out of the discotheque, throwing in hand-claps for good measure in this politically impassioned dancing tune, "Now we're all allowed to breathe. Walls dissolve. With the hunger and the greed." Yet Adebimpe implores to dance it all away, "Move your body; you've got all you need," something hard to resist with the groovy melody TV employs.
Not that Dear Science is an album of intermittent moments of brilliance; it is an album intent on ambivalence-carefully constructed to express a spectrum of emotions, from the heart-pounding and hand-snapping opener "Halfway Home" to the elegiac piano ballad "Family Tree." The darkness found on 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain is never more evident than on "DLZ," where ominous keyboard notes lay out the murky rhythm for Adebimpe's dystopian nightmare, "Congratulations on the mess you made of things... This is beginning to feel like it's curling up slowly and finding a throat to choke."
Even in its most evident moments of darkness, though, the album refuses wallow-after all, the majority of Dear Science doubles as a dance album. The lyrical motifs of death and disenchantment with society serve best when contrasted to the album's glossy exterior, juxtaposing death with dance, despair with hope, and lifelessness with motion-layering the album to eschew superficial listens.
Every song on this album holds its own; no two songs sound alike, whether it's a feverish melody that instantly grabs you or a melancholic dirge that swoons on, these songs will overwhelm and continually shock listeners for years. This album gets better with each listen, not a surprise from a band that gets better with each release. TV on the Radio have pushed the limits of music on Dear Science; this will be the album of 2008.
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on 2009-08-05 dscanland Said:
Yes, if you haven't heard Dear Science yet you must do so. It truly is a masterpiece.
on 2009-08-05 Archelon Said:
Truly excellent album :) and gets better as time goes by
on 2008-09-13 dscanland Said:
Just got a hold of Dear Science tonight and I'm seriously blown away! I might have something to do with just seeing TV On The Radio live 3 nights ago but either way I think I would have been impressed with this album. Review will be up next week!