4.0 out of 5 stars
TOTR is full cream, to Bloc Party's 2% milk, 15 Jan. 2008
I had heard of TV On The Radio before, and seen them on various critics'lists but I'd never given them a listen until about 3 weeks ago. TV On The Radio surrounds you with its rich, complex sound. I listened to both Return to Cookie Mountain and their debut and was initially drawn to the bassier, more 'bare' sound of their first LP but I realised I find the vocals and synths on RTCM make for, if not an immediately catchy, then a deeper, more layered album.
RTCM is like a good novel, in that there is a definite beginning: I Was A Lover, middle: Wolf Like Me, and end: Wash The Day. These are the tracks that stand out the most, but without Let the Devil In, and Dirtywhirl, there would be gaps in the plot. Playhouses is slammed by some as a disappointment in the way it builds up, but I enjoy the feeling of waiting for the song to arrive it creates, whether intended by the band or not.
I say, buy both albums and listen chronologically first, in order to appreciate how TOTR's sound has evolved, though I dont feel RTCM is necessarily better than Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, just possessing of a more complex sound.
Oh yes, and as to those Bloc Party fans crying, "Copycat!", I enjoy Bloc Party enough to have travelled across Germany to see them live, and I honestly believe TOTR is more complex, possessing of richer vocals, and more original than Bloc Party, despite Wolf Like Me's apparent similarity to Banquet.