TV On The Radio / Return To Cookie Mountain
|27-Sep-2006 12:36 AM||Contributed by: pete||Music Reviews|
The CD starts out with a strange beat, sampled horns, jarring synthesizer, and fuzzy guitar. For a first track, it certainly is interesting, but possibly falling a little too far on the experimental side. But it has a purpose. It acts as an acclimatizer for the rest of the album, forcing you through mental adjustment that is required to get through the entire album the first time. Beyond the first song, there are a number of tracks that offer minimalistic melodies, with an assortment of sounds and parts, all played with with significant reverb. Many songs are based on unconventional beats, unfamiliar vocal melodies, atmospheric sounds, and the compositions are idiosyncratic.
I suspect the demographic that will enjoy this album the most is the relatively small group of critics, bloggers, and music enthusiasts that thrive on the unusual. Which means songs like Province, Let The Devil In, and Playhouses are not likely to be embraced by the general public. But who really knows, ground-breaking material does sometimes break ground. So, as many have done before me, I'm about to give this CD a high rating, mostly based on TV On The Radio's ability to execute so well on such a unique idea. That, and the feeling I get out of some of the more accessible tracks, such as Dirtywhirl, a song that I couldn't stop playing while writing this review. My addiction to it grows with each listen. Other key tracks are Wolf Like Me and Hours.
As is often the case with innovative music, it takes a few listens to fully appreciate it. The first time I heard Flotation Toy Warning, it seemed a little too ambitious, but there was something that kept bring me back to it, and now I'm accustomed to its sound. Now in 2006, I consider it one of the 10 best albums released in 2005. TV On The Radio evokes the same initial response in me. On first examination, it seems a little too ambitious, a little too experimental, but I feel compelled to listen again. And then again. Will this CD end up in my list of top albums for 2006? I can't tell you yet, but it sure has a chance.
TV On The Radio plays The Opera House in Toronto on October 12th.
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