TV On The Radio
By Shane HandlerOctober 13, 2008
Following their joyless dark masterpiece, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain
, TV on the Radio was due for a prescription of musical prozac. Enter Dear Science
, full of disco jams, new wave bouncers and patterns of soul, post-punk, and techno in favor of the art noise uncertainty of prior TV on the Radio.
But while it’s easy to call TV on the Radio part of the dance rock craze, their sound is so much more than hipster rhetoric. Where party starters like “Red Dress” boast horns courtesy of Antibalas, there’s an adventurous freedom on Dear Science
that proves you can still be catchy but not muddled in pop nausea. The opener “Halfway Home” features many of the gritty TOTR soundscapes we are used to and the new-wave “Crying” sounds like a lost Clash Sandinista!
nugget. While the soulful “Dancing Choose” can fit just as easily on a Gnarls Barkley album, “Golden Age is coming of sound for the band, a sparkling gem that mingles with “Wanna Be Start Something” funk with an arena rock flair. Moments of introspective on "Family Tree" toss a cuveball into upbeat mix, but while other band’s have failed miserably by going “happy,” Dear Science
proves upbeat doesn’t have to be so damn cliché.