World Cafe

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TV on the Radio - Dear Science - DGC/Interscope

Brooklyn's finest, TV On The Radio, have just dropped an album on us – Dear Science – that has to go down as one of the most honest, challenging and engaging things we’ve heard all year. If I hadn't read the lyric sheet I'd say it was downright revolutionary, but the bands' concerns are personal ones, albeit personal in a context of an all-too troubling present and future. It's strong from start to finish, and TVOTR has really upped the ante for their major label debut.

Like 2006's Return To Cookie Mountain,Dear Science is funky, it rocks, and it keeps you guessing. The difference may be in the songwriting craft. The songs are catchier, the grooves groovier. Co-frontmen Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone sound enough alike to maintain continuity, and different enough to give each song a different feel. The doom-and-gloom is at the forefront lyrically on "Family Tree" and "Red Dress", and "Crying" is an especially bleak personal journey, but the songs are just so damn well put together that it takes a minute to recognize the dread. The album starts very strong with the soaring "Halfway Home", and really never comes down. The smart-but-cynical nature of these songs are best represented by "Dancing Choose", the one with the extra great chorus.

I’ve heard a few music fans around here already describe Dear Science as their favorite of ’08. It’s definitely top five for me. If you’re not already hip to this band’s remarkable talents, prepare to be “blindsided by Science”…

Featured Album of the Week August 2008 and CD of the Month January 2009

Written by Dan Reed