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Rhythm & Views

TV on the Radio


If you're a TV on the Radio fan, chances are pretty good that you've been churning this album for quite some time, despite the fact that Interscope just recently got off their asses to release it in America--after all, it's been available abroad since July and floating around in cyberspace for what seems like eons. Although Interscope has bizarrely handled the marketing of one of the year's best albums, it can hardly be blamed. Enjoyable as it is (and Lord, is it), TV on the Radio have crafted a delectable yet complex album that will likely never find mainstream acceptance. And that's OK.

The question with the album is not which songs are the best--they all are--but which have the best lyrics. Is it the starkly haunting "Tonight," with "My mind is like an orchard / clustered in frozen portraits?" Or the rapturous, pulsating "Wolf Like Me": "When the moon is round and full / gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your / mongrel mind?" Or perhaps the dissonant, glorious "Province" with backing vocals courtesy of Bowie? For my money, the winner is, "My clone wears a brown shirt / and I seduce it when there's no one around?" from the stuttering, caustic opener "I Was a Lover."

The point is, it doesn't really matter. It's just refreshing to have an album so strong and individualistic that comparisons and nitpicking take a backseat to lyrical couplets and moments of musical beauty. Such uniqueness seems too infrequent anymore to argue when a band manages to mesh electronica, doo-wop, rock and the kitchen sink so effortlessly.

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