Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TV On The Radio: Dear Science

When TV On The Radio came out with Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes my senior year of college, I [illegally] downloaded one or two songs, but my computer crashed shortly thereafter and I lost those tunes (I didn't have a backup hard drive). I quit following TVotR, and dismissed Return to Cookie Mountain after I saw a video promo for it on MTV (there aren't too many channels I hate more than MangeyTweenVomit). However, I gave Cookie Mountain a second chance--legally downloaded it--and came away enthralled. I can see why Cookie Mountain ended up on so many best-of-2006 lists.

Dear Science came out in late September and I previewed it on Amazon, but I was unimpressed and decided my money would be better spent elsewhere. But when Brandon burned me a copy, I gave it a fair shake. The first listen, I was still unimpressed, but I continued to play the album as I painted my apartment. The more I listened, the more I liked it.

Part of the reason I didn't go gaga over Science was the fact that it seemed a bit more mainstream than Cookie Mountain. Much in the way that Kings of Leon's Only by the Night seems more produced--likely with mass consumption in mind--than Because of the Times (in my top 5 albums of 2007), TVotR's Science seems more slick than Cookie Mountain. "Dancing Choose" and "Red Dress" seem like tacked-on quirkiness as if to say, "Hey, we're still weird!" (Those are actually my two least-favorite songs on the album.) However, "Crying," "Stork & Owl," and "DLZ" are fabulous tracks.

Grade: B+
Blurb: The problem with Science is that there are fewer standout tracks than on Cookie Mountain. I don't think it should be as high as it is on the year-end list for 2008. On the other hand, it's still a fun album, and there's not much like it out there. Check out the tracks "DLZ" and "Golden Age" below.

DLZ - TV On The Radio

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