Late night TV rarely presents good bands in commercial advertising. However, TV On The Radio is the new exception. With their critically acclaimed new album, Return To Cookie Mountain, TV On The Radio won’t need commercial time to sell records.
TV On The Radio will unfortunately not appeal to the average music listener. Their sound covers most music genres, such as alternative, hip-hop, soul, trip-hop, noise rock, electronica and even free jazz.
Surprisingly, the band blends these diverse genres very well. Return To Cookie Mountain opens up with “I Was A Lover,” a strange yet wise choice for an opening track. The song starts with an electronic drum kit beat that repeats throughout. Then, the insanity kicks in. A mesh of distorted stringed instruments haunt the track, while a sitar riff loops in the background. Guitar feedback slowly comes into the mix after Tunde Adebimpe (vocals and samples) sings with a soulful presence. The song’s complex structure will have music enthusiasts in love.
Following the opening track, “Hours” proves that TV On The Radio are capable of tackling any music genre. With live drums, “Hours” feels more like a rock song, but is far from any rock song you’ll ever hear. The faint sounds of brass instruments give an atmospheric vibe while the bass line keeps the basic song structure.
Tunde Adebimpe’s vocals are very soothing, and can sound sweet or raspy. Without a doubt, Adebimpe is a very gifted vocalist. The musical genius of the band, though, is David Sitek. His ability to blend diverse music qualities proves that Sitek is one of our most talented musicians in the scene today. With Adebimpe’s flawless vocals and Sitek’s musical genius, TV On The Radio are bound for critical success.
The fast paced drum beat and the fuzzed bass line makes TV On The Radio’s first single, “Wolf Like Me” the catchiest song on the album. One musician that caught onto TV On The Radio is David Bowie. Bowie provides backing vocals on the track “Province” and has been cited to listen to the record around three times a week, which is a saturation level for him.
Return To Cookie Mountain should do for TV On The Radio what Ok Computer did for Radiohead. Not only have TV On The Radio found their defining sound, but have also laid the blueprints for a new music genre entirely. These are two incredibly bold statements-- but not bullshit. A few years from now, TV On The Radio will be remembered as innovators and Return To Cookie Mountain will be regarded as one of the best albums of the decade. Please do yourself a favor (if you haven’t already) and purchase this album.