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TV on the Radio-- Return to Cookie Mountain

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Terrible, awful name-- great album. Sounds trivial or throw-away, yet it's anything but.

Drugged-out, complex, time-changing, "difficult" music.

Yet it transcends its genre and is somehow "pop". David Bowie is a fan and a hanger-on. All-music's review:

Quote:
As passionate as ever, but now with a little more polish, TV on the Radio's second album (and Interscope debut), Return to Cookie Mountain, is their most satisfying work since they exploded onto the scene with Young Liars. More than some of their indie rock peers, TV on the Radio seems comfortable on a major label. They've always been a band with a big, unapologetically ambitious sound, and on Return to Cookie Mountain, they give that sound room to breathe with a lush, expansive production. The sonic depth throughout the album is a sharp contrast with the density of their first full-length, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, which was so jam-packed with sounds and ideas that it was nearly suffocated by them. However, Return to Cookie Mountain is hardly slick or dumbed-down for mass consumption. In fact, the opening track, "I Was a Lover," is one of the band's most challenging songs yet, mixing a stuttering hip-hop beat with guitars of Loveless proportions and juxtaposing inviting vocal harmonies and horns with glitches and trippy sitars. "Playhouses" is only slightly less radical, with its wildly syncopated drumming and Tunde Adepimbe's layered, impassioned singing. At times, Return to Cookie Mountain threatens to become more impressive than likeable — a complaint that could also arguably be leveled against Desperate Youth as well — but fortunately, TV on the Radio reconnects with, and builds on, the intimacy and purity that made Young Liars so striking. David Bowie's backing vocals on "Province" are only one part of the song's enveloping warmth, rather than its focal point, while the album's centerpiece, "A Method," is another beautiful example of the band's haunting update on doo wop. Meanwhile, the mention of "the needle/the dirty spoon" on "Tonight" cements it as a gorgeous but unsettling urban elegy. As with all their other work, on Return to Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio deals with the fallout of living in a post-9/11 world; politics and morality are still touchstones for the band, particularly on the anguished "Blues from Down Here" and "Hours," on which Adepimbe urges, "Now listen to the truth." Notably, though, the album builds on the hopeful, or at least living for the moment, vibe that emerged at the end of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. The sexy, funky "Wolf Like Me," which is the closest the album gets to rock in any conventional sense of the term, and "Dirtywhirl," which spins together images of girls and hurricanes, offer erotic escapes. And by the time the epic final track, "Wash the Day," revisits the sitars that opened the album with a serene, hypnotic groove, Return to Cookie Mountain gives the most complete representation of the hopes, joys, and fears within TV on the Radio's music.
post #2 of 7
I just dug that one out last night for a concentrated listen. Difficult isn't the way I would describe it.

There is some very strong melody in there. TBO, I didn't find it that revolutionary; more evolutionary with a nice mixture of dub and rock. It's one to be infatuated with, then enjoy every couple of months. That's for sure.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...ighlight=radio
post #3 of 7
Yeah, RTCM is pretty amazing. Probably my second favorite album of 2006 (#1 is far and away Joanna Newsom's Ys). Experimental + super-catchy melodies = instant win. It's hard for me to not to get sucked in every time whenever the opening track starts. It really took me a while to get into it the first few times around, though.
post #4 of 7
After hearing all the accolades, I listened to RTCM. First time, I thought it was childish and really just stupid. Then "A Method" grabbed me...that was it I was HOOKED. Listened to it once, twice a day for like a week. It's definitely a grower - for those looking into it, give it time and give it a few listens, you won't be dissappointed. RTCM is pretty unique to anything I've listened to - does anyone know if their other realeases are anything like this/worth finding?
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve468 View Post
After hearing all the accolades, I listened to RTCM. First time, I thought it was childish and really just stupid. Then "A Method" grabbed me...that was it I was HOOKED. Listened to it once, twice a day for like a week. It's definitely a grower - for those looking into it, give it time and give it a few listens, you won't be dissappointed. RTCM is pretty unique to anything I've listened to - does anyone know if their other realeases are anything like this/worth finding?
Find a copy of "Young Liars". Both of their albums still can't touch their debut EP.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwallace573 View Post
Find a copy of "Young Liars". Both of their albums still can't touch their debut EP.
I concur - RTCM is really good, but young liars was magical
post #7 of 7

More than the sum of its parts

I've been listening to this since NME's site had it streaming in advance of the release. I was a little mystified at first; this is intelligent, intricate music at first listen, but I couldn't really understand all the rave reviews.

Then it started to sink in. I started noticing all sorts of unusual details -- and unusual juxtopositions of details. I now really like it and listen to it every couple weeks or so, but it still has an elusive quality to me.

The point is, you can't really describe this music by ticking off details. The combination of the dense electronics, the hard-edged guitar, and, especially, the vocal sound adds up to something unlike anything I've ever heard.

The vocals in particular knock me off balance. I can hear doo wop, soul and rock influences, but I sure wouldn't use any of those labels on this music.

And the vocal arrangements sound casual, almost tossed off at first listen. But repeated listens reveal something a lot more thoughtfully crafted than that.

Definately more than the sum of its parts.
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