TV On The Radio - Dear Science (Deluxe Edition) (2009) - [Alternative]
Artist.....: TV On The Radio
Title......: Dear Science (Deluxe Edition)
Store Date.: 000-00-0000
Encoder....: Lame 3.97 / -V2 --vbr-new
Size.......: 105.6 MB
01 - Halfway Home 05:32
02 - Crying 04:11
03 - Dancing Choose 02:56
04 - Stork & Owl 04:02
05 - Golden Age 04:12
06 - Family Tree 05:34
07 - Red Dress 04:25
08 - Love Dog 05:37
09 - Shout Me Out 04:16
10 - Dlz 03:49
11 - Lover's Day 05:54
12 - Untitled 04:01
13 - Make Love All Night Long 03:32
14 - Heroic Dose 07:18
15 - Dancing Choose (Prefuse 73 Remix) 03:49
16 - Crying (Telepathe Remix) 04:29
"A lot of bands have something to say," explains TV On The Radio
producer/multi-instrumentalist David Sitek. "We have something to
Indeed. Good luck finding easy answers in TVOTR's ever-evolving
soundscapes, though, whether we're talking about their new disc,
Dear Science (DGC/Interscope) or the band's early days. When
guitarist/vocalist Kyp Malone joined, he didn't even get what
Sitek and vocalist Tunde Adebimpe were going for on their
self-released 2002 debut, OK Calculator.
"Aspects of OK Calculator are genius," says Malone, "but it isn't
as laser-focused as Young Liars." Neither were Adebimpe and
Sitek's early live sets, boundless and brash bits of performance
art that Malone remembers as "an open mic/karaoke night gone awry.
I could hear songs peeking through it all but it wasn't really my
Boy did that change in 2003, as Young Liars became Malone's
favorite CD-R (he'd often play it for the latte sippers at a local
coffee shop) and the group's first Touch & Go release. An
immediate favorite among critics, the EP nailed Sitek's goal of
sounding like a "grand four-track thing," from the epic, evocative
balladry of "Blind" to the spectral pop trails of "Staring At the
Sun." To make things even more interesting, Malone dropped his
skepticism and joined the group full-time before Young Liars'
official release, with drummer Jaleel Bunton and bassist Gerard
Smith rounding out the band's rhythm section soon after.
"We had a gig in Iceland where we needed a full band so we asked
the two best guitar players we knew, Gerard and Jaleel, to play
drums and bass," explains Sitek, laughing. "It's absurd that Kyp
and I are even holding a guitar when Jaleel and Gerard are fucking
bananas at playing it."
While that may be true, TV On The Radio's loose approach to
songwriting, recording and performing leaves an incredible amount
of room for instrument-swapping and role reversals. Rather than
rely on a stringent and stale guitars/bass/drums/vocals setup, the
quintet often brings home-demoed sketches to the studio along with
the attitude that a track needs to go through everyone's filter
before it becomes a fully formed song.
"Music is the most flexible medium in the world for me," explains
Sitek, the beat conductor responsible for distilling the band's
tracks down to a living, breathing composition that's never
cloying or cumbersome. "There is no shortage of ideas; the hard
part is not following each whim."
As much as he tries to keep a record sounding lean, Sitek is quick
to admit, "It takes most bands an album to get to a high track
count. I can go from 4 to 96 in a day, without question. I'm track
hungry, really. A lot of stuff isn't even an instrument."
The densest a TVOTR disc ever got was their third LP, 2006's
Return to Cookie Mountain, a collection of songs you need to scale
with hi-def headphones to truly appreciate. Sitek went a little
lighter on the multi-tracking with this Dear Science, but not by
much. The album's opener, "Halfway Home," is vintage TVOTR, for
instance--a rich, speaker-swallowing canvas of careening beats,
buzzing riffs (or are those synths?) and bloodletting vocals.
Things get strange from that point on, however, as mirror balls
spin (a dare-we-say-danceable "Crying," the helicopter hook of
"Golden Age") and Adebimpe attacks "Dancing Choose" like a
mic-wielding battle rapper.
And then there are the glimmers of drum & bass ("Shout Me Out"),
drunken horn sections ("Red Dress," one of several songs to
feature members of Antibalas), and carefully-plucked film score
strings ("Stork & Owl") that spice up what's clearly TVOTR's most
challenging effort yet. Not challenging in the sense of being a
rough listen--challenging in terms of rewriting the group's
supposed gloomy, stormy aesthetics.
"You know how people always say that comedians are some of the
saddest people in the world?" asks Adebimpe. "Well, the opposite
is true, too. As heavy as some of the songs get, the joking around
that goes around between the five of us gets out of control
"If people are listening to us because we're dark and brooding,
great," adds Sitek, "But I think there's a greater percentage
looking for us to do something different with every album. Some of
the darkest songs on Dear Science are the more upbeat ones. Like
'Crying' is f**king heavy, dude."
If you' still toss on such beautifully-damaged tracks as "Dreams"
and "Ambulance" when times get tough, don't worry--TV On The Radio
still goes for the jugular in the melancholic and moody
department. In fact, some of Dear Science sounds downright
menacing. Take "DLZ": a fang-baring "f**k you" to the idea of
death being "your last chance to do anything" according to
Adebimpe, it's some of most frightening, and affecting, music in
the TVOTR canon. "Stork & Owl" is much more muted in its mix of
skittering beats, wilting strings and gorgeous, multi-tracked
harmonies but good luck putting on a happy face after succumbing
to its postmodern soul soundtrack.
"It's like Bukowski once said, 'I write all of this stuff to get
away from it,'" explains Adebimpe, who struggled with the deaths
of a friend and family member during the making of Dear Science.
"Writing is a meditation, an exercise to put away all these
And that's ultimately what TV On The Radio still hopes to do with
its music--they're still looking to connect, to make people feel
something, anything no matter how up or down a song's arrangement
"I grew up listening to Joy Division, New Order, Echo & the
Bunnymen, the Cure, the Smiths and the Swans," says Malone. "Some
of that qualifies as 'goth' but it didn't make me depressed to
listen to that music despite what my parents assumed. It didn't
add to my 'angst' as a teenager. I simply identitfied with
something in the music.
"It made me feel less alone, you know?" he continues. "If I could
be that for someone else, that would make me happy. It'd be a real
form of success for me."
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