4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Audio CD)
NYC newcomers TV on the Radio's debut was rightly hyped after their dazzling EP, Young Liars. However, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes fails to develop or improve their sound and leaves you with a feeling of wasted potential. Whereas 'Young Liars' opened with the sensational 'Satellite' and 'Staring at the Sun' (which, repeated here, is also this album's best track) - with bristling energy and audacious production - 'Desperate Youth...' opens and remains in a dull, plodding fug. Guitars churn grimily throughout, and most of the songs plod wearily through a contemporary blues landscape that is mostly oppressive and rarely liberating. The opener 'Wrong Way' is archetypal of this, a mess of saxophone parps and suffocating drones. What is most startling about the change in direction since 'Young Liars' is the persistent use of a second vocal, a high-pitch squeal that is pasted all over Adebimpe's once-awesome lead, ultimately suffocating every line and diminishing its impact. 'Ambulance' shows a different side to the band, a twisted love song played over looping vocal harmonies, while other highlights include the sonic texturing of 'Dreams'. However, few of the tracks justify their five-and-a-half minute length, and you long for them to inject some urgency and vitality into the album as it grinds to a halt and implodes with the frankly tiring 'Bomb Yourself' and 'Wear You Out' (which does exactly that). Want my advice? Save yourself a bit of money and a bad day and get Young Liars instead.