After a two-year hiatus – and a number of enjoyable side projects – Brooklyn art-rockers TV on the Radio are back with their newest collaborative effort: Nine Types of Light. Despite the break, the band members of TV on the Radio have kept busy. Aside from being tied to numerous other artists’ creative endeavours (Scarlett Johansson, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Red Hot’s Dark Was the Night among them), producer Dave Sitek released a solo album under the moniker Maximum Balloon, guitarist Kyp Malone focused on his Rain Machine solo project, and vocalist Tunde Adebimpe displayed his acting chops with Anne Hathaway in the sleeper hit Rachel Getting Married. Hiatus yes, but time-off? Definitely no.

The album is still clearly a Dave Sitek production, but it is noticeably different than previous efforts. Nine Types of Light sounds less distorted than Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, less aggressive than Return to Cookie Mountain, and slightly more refined than Dear Science. The songs are patient and lucid, showing definite growth in the band. With the addition of acoustic instruments – a first for TV on the Radio – and an emphasis on ballads, the band has once again trumped critics expectations and delivered an album that departs from their previous efforts, though maintains their consistency of creating new music without losing their core sound.

Album opener Second Song’ rotates between a speakers voice and a harmonized playful falsetto while Adebimpe’s lyrics add impassioned meaning to a song rich with brass instruments. Interestingly, ‘Second Song’ is a seamless continuation of ‘Lover’s Day’, the last song on Dear Science. Where one album ends, the other begins. It is seldom that we hear a band pay such homage to their earlier work. On ‘Keep Your Heart’, over funk guitars, synthesizers, and a steady drum line from drummer Jaleel Bunton, Kyp Malone’s drunk-like voice croons “If the world falls apart, I’m gonna keep your heart”. The opening pianos on ‘Killer Crane’ are somewhat similar to those on Dear Science’s ‘Family Tree’, but Adebimpe’s voice is far more uplifting as he sings, “And the moonlight steals the sound, I could leave suddenly unafraid.” Slowly but surely, the sound of an acoustic guitar sneaks in, followed by deep strings, piano, and a twang of banjo to complete the set. With its dark, sexy melody, ‘Will Do’ acts as a buffer zone between the two halves of the album: one heavily focused on ballads, the other showing off TV on the Radio’s angrier side.

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— , May 7, 2011    Comments Off on TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light

This year’s mixtape is ready for you to download. The two disc set is packed with 2008 favourites from all of our writers.

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 1

01. She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
02. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
03. Chad VanGaalen – TMNT Mask
04. Bloc Party – Signs
05. Mystery Jets – Young Love feat. Laura Marling
06. TV on the Radio – Family Tree
07. DeVotchKa – Transliterator
08. Wilco w/ Fleet Foxes – I Shall Be Released
09. Wolf Parade – Soldier’s Grin
10. M83 – Graveyard Girl
11. Albert Hammond, Jr. – GfC
12. Vampire Weekend – Walcott
13. Brendan Canning – Churches Under the Stairs
14. Cut Copy – Lights and Music
15. Los Campesinos! – This Is How You Spell…

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 2

01. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
02. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
03. Born Ruffians – Little Garçon
04. The Clips – Space Kidz
05. The Radio Dept. – Freddie and the Trojan Horse
06. Bon Iver – Re: Stacks
07. Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance
08. Portishead – Machine Gun
09. No Age – Eraser
10. Plants and Animals – New Kind of Love
11. Bodies of Water – Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey
12. Fleet Foxes – Oliver James
13. Deerhunter – Never Stops
14. Santogold – Creator
15. Beast – Ashtray

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— , December 24, 2008    4 Comments