01 October 2008
The Best Band In The World Today
Is TV On The Radio.
This is not an outlandish statement. This is not hyperbole. This is just fact, and (like the phenomena of gravity or climate change) this fact is proved by mathematics and scientific reasoning. The mathematics and scientific reasoning involved is far too complex to explain here, but trust me: it exists. It proves the fact. Therefore it is fact.
Perhaps you're sitting at home reading this (as many thousands doubtless are), and wondering: "But hey, aren't, like U2 the best band in the world?". The which I respond "No", and also "Buy a new brain." There may be other pretenders to the throne, most of which are simply pretenders, and never The Pretenders. Radiohead, perhaps, come closest to the title of Best Band In The World Today. But they do not clinch it. They would win, hands-down, the title of Best Band Of Our Generation. But TV on The Radio pwn all others due to one simple reason: Dear Science,.
In the two or three weeks since I've, um, owned the album, I've listened to it with varying degrees of concentration. Firstly there was Golden Age - with its Thriller-esque vibe and promises of light at the end of the tunnel. Along with Dancing Choose, a fervent rap-soul combo underscored by urgent horns on high-alert, I found the immediate, primal dance to this album. But once you delve deeper, into a song like DLZ, with its slow build, barked chants and trip-hop feel, you begin to truly understand the genius behind this band. Cryptic lyrics, impassioned "ooohs" and "la's" from Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe and moulded and crafted by bespectacled Dave Sitek. Sitek, producer and multi-instrumentalist has largely ditched the bombastic aural assault of TVOTR (also great) previous albums, instead clarifying and enhancing the tones from his guitar as well as giving bassist Gerard Smith and drummer Jaleel Bunton more of a platform than they've had before.
What is truly impressive, though, is that TVOTR have managed the transition from underground cult-act, to this major-label release with the dexterity other similar bands couldn't manage. Recently Interpol (also New Yorkers, also jumping from indie to major) put out the heavy, rather leaden Our Love to Admire, and the Shins' Wincing the Night Away just didn't work out as everyone hoped it would.
2008 and TVOTR is different. Everything that made Desperate Youth... and Return to Cookie Mountain great, but perhaps stopped those albums from being amazing, is still here. But a new sense of depth and an appreciation for structure is evident on Dear Science,, and that makes Dear Science,...better.
Simply put, no band has come close this year to matching TVOTR. Listen to Love Dog and then try and argue differently.