Thursday, October 2, 2008

TV on the Radio - Dear Science

I don't love Dear Science as much as Return to Cookie Mountain, but it's still a very good album with plenty of great moments. It seems a bit catchier and more accessible, with more songs obviously designed to be singles. They still sound like TV on the Radio songs, just not the sort of ones I pick as my favorites. "Dancing Choose" is as catchy as I've ever heard them. There's still trademark elements like the horns and buzzing bass, but it's definitely branching a bit. It might just be me, but it also seems like Kyp Malone takes on a greater role, at least vocally. His single "Golden Age" is almost as fun, and he's written some of their better songs, I just usually enjoy Tunde Adebimpe's unique voice more. It's hard to say what exactly makes Dear Science sound different, and it just might be that the songs aren't quite as good, but there's plenty to enjoy.

"Halfway Home" is a fantastic way to start the record, and one of the best tracks to be found. The vocals, drums, and distorted background noise are really them at their best. "Crying" is pure funk, and another solid song. "Stork & Owl" and "Family Tree" are two good slower songs, the former with its chanted backing vocals and the latter with a minimalist sensibility and affecting chorus. "Shout Me Out" starts with a nice beat and picks up the pace partway through. "DLZ" is another favorite. Everything, from Katrina Ford's la la la's to the intensely cool breakdown at the end is terrific. "Lover's Day" is a nice way to end the normal album, although I got the deluxe version with a few bonus tracks, including some fun remixes. Neither of the original songs stick out that much, but more music is always good. While it wasn't as amazing as their other work, Dear Science still helped cement TV on the Radio as one of my favorite modern bands.

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