Search This Blog

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TV On The Radio - Nine Types of Light

Looks like 1 type of light to me....
I suppose this is kind of a late review since Nine Types of Light came out just over 2 months ago but I didn't have a blog then so whatever. I just saw their new video for "You" and figured why not. It is a pretty funny clip from their movie with the same title as the album and features the members a year after the band had broken up. They reunite in a diner and discuss what each has gotten into since splitting. Nice to see a an appearance by Gerard Smith, their former bass player that recently passed away from lung cancer. When you're not watching the awkward moments around the table you get to see lead singer Tunde Adebimpe in his new career as an impersonator of a certain pop icon. Classic. Hopefully, the video is not a sign of things to come and this band will be around for a long time. You can scope it out by clicking TVOTR - "You"

So I streamed Nine Types of Light online for a couple weeks prior to it's release and bought a copy on Record Store Day. May not have been the best idea since I purchased a few records that day and subsequently took me a little longer to pay it the deserved amount of attention. My initial thoughts from the stream were it was a solid album and more "baby making music" than you typically get in a TVOTR album and it got lost in the shuffle.

A week after my purchase I had maybe listened to the record once all the way through (besides the streaming). Then I noticed the David Letterman episode with TVOTR as the musical guest I had apparently forgotten I recorded the week before. Now, I had liked "Will Do" prior to this but something happened when I watched their performance of the lead single and everything changed. I had this immediate desire to go back and listen to Light again. I can't really explain it but from that point on the album has been one of my favorites so far in 2011.

                                                If you watch all the way to the end, even Dave was impressed

Now I have read/heard some grumblings about how this isn't like a normal TVOTR album and it's missing their edge. I completely disagree.  It might take a few times but this is TVOTR but in a slightly different frame of mind. Maybe it's not as rocking as previous albums such as 2008's Dear Science which topped many year-end lists, including my own.
**Sidenote - Why does every album an artist puts out have to be compared to previous albums? This only really makes sense for bands with a generic sound and have songs that all sound the same. We praise bands like TVOTR for their artistic creativity but when they release something a little different than what we might be used to from them and we condemn them. Sidenote Finished**
There was mention between albums they wanted to do more love songs which is apparent in songs like "Will Do," "You," and "Keep Your Heart." However, you can't help but move to the grooves of "Second Song," "Caffeinated Consciousness," and "Repetition."

Lights may be a little more mellow for TVOTR but at least they did it with a sense of groovetastic beauty that only they can pull from the depths of Kyp Malone's beard.  2011 is shaping up as the year for beautiful music.  It may take a few listens to appreciate this record for all of its finer points but they are there and my hat's off to them for veering off the beaten path and showing us Nine Types of Light.

R.I.P. Gerard Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment