TV on the Radio - Dear Science (4 stars)

TV on the Radio - Dear Science



Since they first sneaked into view five years ago, throwing down doo-wop takes on Pixies tunes and post-MBV space funk, TV on the Radio have been, to say the least, awkward customers, their sonic tricksiness often being a barrier to the enjoyment of their music. No one after all, likes a smart arse.

Three albums in, they’re beginning to unravel some of the peculiar joys aural mastermind David Sitek has bound up in their dense orchestra.

The sensory overload of 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain is diffused in favour of a more playful collection filled with languid grooves and varied if measured instrumental variety. Tunde Adebimpe remains a sonorous focal point, his crooning falsettos, strained, Prince-ian raps and voluptuous baritones suggest him to be one of the most versatile and beguiling singers anywhere today.

Dear Science is less conventional rock than anything else the band have ever done but suggests a well of ideas that goes beyond genre conventions without sounding to self-consciously clever, just inspired.

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