Wednesday, January 03, 2007

#5- TV On The Radio- Return To Cookie Mountain

I resisted it for a while, mostly to spite the slew of hyperbolic reviews that would make you think that God himself constructed this album from one of Adam’s ribs on the seventh day. But it was only a matter of time before I, too, was hypnotized by TV On The Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain.

From the very beginning, you know it’s something special. It’s as if someone threw every major style of music into a big pot and made this beautiful, post-modern musical stew. (How’s that for hyperbole?) There’s a mechanical quality that stems from hip hop and electronic music, there’s guitar noise that recalls Sonic Youth, there’s tribal drum circles, there’s barbershop quartet harmony, there’s a punk rock flare in Tunde Adebimpe's vocals – but none of those things really begin to describe it. And while the band still has a problem with putting musical innovation (and there’s a plethora of that here, moreso than anything else released this year) in front of emotional resonance, they sound pretty emotive on the refrain of “Hold your heart courageously, as we walk into this dark place” on “Province”.

It’s hard to predict what from this year’s crop of albums is going to be looked back on as a musical guidepost from the year 2006 – what we’d put in a time capsule if we had the chance. But Return To Cookie Mountain is a safe bet. We can trace the influences of most albums we hear, and comment on where we see each album’s aesthetic going in the future. Not with Return To Cookie Mountain. This album came out of nowhere – Adam’s rib may be as good of an explanation as any after all.

TV On The Radio- I Was A Lover from Return To Cookie Mountain

TV On The Radio- "Wolf Like Me" (music video)


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