TV On The Radio
Dear Science

Written by Michael Carr

These New York based masters of shiny soul laced post-pop TV On The Radio are back with their latest effort, the sublime, Dear Science.

If you ignore the quality of their previous albums, ignore the fact that David Bowie has stated he thinks they’re the best band in the world right now and ignore the fact they stole the show at Splendour when the line up included Mogwai, DJ Shadow, Sonic Youth, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Brian Wilson, and Dear Science is an amazing feat.

From the clap your hands and say ‘waaoooo’ opener Halfway Home through the ratatat spray of Dancing Choose and Talking Heads meets Tears For Fears tribute to Bowie’s Golden Years that is Golden Age to the airy new wave and horn filled closer Lover’s Day, Dear Science is without a doubt one of the most interesting, well made and inspired albums to have been released this year.

However, when you remember all those things I asked you to ignore, you do tend to find the album a bit flat. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just that the tone and pace of the album sees the band take a more relaxed turn. The R & B influence isn’t as strong and the album overall is less poppy than most of their other work.

You can hear the band have been moving more towards their post-rock influences such as Sigur Rós in certain sections, especially the end of the album. While this does add another dimension to the music, and certainly to the live show, there is something about their previous work that seems so much more transporting.

But hey, what the fuck do I know. I do know this is a great album and I do know this is a great band. Go out and buy it, and the Young Liars EP, oh and Desperate Youth, Blood Thirty Babes, mind you if you don’t have Return To Cookie Mountain that’s essential, Bowie sings back up on Province.

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