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on 13 May 2011
After being introduced to TV on the Radio and their kaleidesopic 2008 album Dear Science, by a dear friend a year or so ago, I have become more and more enthralled by their quirky mix of genres, ranging from 70s David Bowie vocals, to Prince, to even Radiohead. Combined with genius production techniques that surprise and catch you off guard, the overall mix is one of beguilling seduction. Nine Types of Light is a more accomplished and mature album than the aforementioned Dear Science and brings Dave Sitek back into the production studio, after his recent solo effort with Maximum Balloon. The crazy falsetto vocals falling to gravelly depths that Barry White would be proud of combine to form a range of expansive proportions. Nine Types of Light is like a love affair, put in the leg work and you will be greatly rewarded. My only criticism would be does there really need to be three versions of Will Do, amazing as it is!
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Has it really been 3 years since TVOTR's last splendid album
'Dear Science' bestowed its blessings on the listening world?!
It was a fine work and 'Nine Types Of Light' can hold its head
up with pride too. It's a joyously coherent piece of work.

There are ten tracks to consider here (another three if you go
'deluxe' - which I didn't) and the tunes seem more immediately
accessible than much of their previous work. This is a good thing.
There is an optimistic, soulful ambience to these compositions
which really does make your toes feel warm and tingly. This, not
least of all, has much to do with Tunde Adebimpe's distinctive
and perfectly splendid voice (his falsetto seems stronger than ever!)

'You' has an especially lovely melody propelled along by Mr Sitek's
big, beefy drums and some nicely jangly pizzicato guitar lines.
Despite the density of the sound everything is in the right place.
'Killer Crane', too, manages to balance the epic with intimacy.
I think it is one of the band's lovliest inventions by far. At
heart it is a pretty simple idea but the tender execution elevates
it to another level entirely. An anthem of hope for dark times.

Off in another direction 'New Cannonball Blues' is a big bruiser of
a track. The grumbling, rumbling bass made the glass rattle in our
windowpanes! (Mrs Wolf really does suffer sometimes!) The fruity
brass accents and wild vocal harmonies generate real passion and power.

My favorite track by a mile so-far is the mid-paced stuttering wonder
that is 'Keep Your Heart'. Mr Adebimpe reaches deep down inside and
comes back with a truly memorable and affecting performance. The
transcendent chorus, with some remarkably risky high notes, really
is a thing of beauty. The echoes linger far longer than the song.

TV On The Radio have gone from strength to strength with
'Nine Types Of Light'. It is an album to savour and to cherish.

Highly Recommended.
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on 30 April 2011
This is my first foray into TV on the Radio and what can I say? Well firstly, the album is tinged with sadness, a day after I purchased the album I heard news of their Bassist, Gerard A. Smith's tragic passing away at the untimely age of 36, this for me has changed the dynamic of the album immeasurably. The opener, "Second Song", opens with spoken word and dives into a smooth funky beat. Soon things settle down, the African inspired "Keep you Heart" is pretty oddball to say the least but not obscure enough for it not to be liked, and after a few listens it develops in into a charming, heart warming feel . `'No future Shock" continues to funky vibe that traces through the album. "You" is an absolute gem, open hearted, rich synths give it an 80's pop ambiance while Tunde Abesbimpe's vocals sweetly keep the momentum flowing. "No Future Shock" is simply addictive, with a tight hook that implants itself deep into the brain. "Killer Crane", is melodic and Proggy, couple that with the most beautiful lyrics, "Sunshine, I saw you through the hanging vine" and a mandolin quietly strumming in the back ground and you have a classic album centerpiece. The single "Will Do", continues the gentleness with aplomb. The closing stages of the album contain the more rocky tunes, "Repetition", TV on the Radios take on Kraut rock, finishes ablaze with a momentum building rap. The curtain caller, "Caffeinated Conscience", a Faith no More-ish, furious rock song, proudly contrasting with the rest of the album.
TV on the Radio have manages something so hard to find in todays music world, it is an album that tugs at every emotion, but overall it makes you happy, the basic desire we all want to feel when we hear and for that reason, their technical genius becomes irrelevant. Without doubt its a sure contender for the best album of 2011.
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Let us start by discarding the words "art rockers" and in turn highlight the cathartic impact you experienced when listening for the first time to the wonderful Brooklyn band TV On The Radio''s 2006 masterwork, "Return to Cookie Mountain" which was the musical equivalent of "shock and awe" assault on your senses. It seemed to put them in a unique musical category all of their own with artists such as David Bowie paying homage and so far in front of their peers it was almost embarrassing. There appearance on David Letterman's show performing the epic "Wolf like me" was a dark delight and an internet sensation. Incredibly somehow in 2008 it got better upon the release of their last album "Dear Science" which won so many "best of" end of year lists that a uninformed neutral observer could have alleged poll rigging, not knowing that they deserved all the accolades and much more besides. Since then however the band has gone off in various solo directions and "Nine types of light" has been released to little fanfare which is shame since it is their most accessible and commercial album to date and by any standards a inviting yet thoughtful piece of music, jam packed with optimistic warm grooves and forlorn lyrics. But let us not despair that somehow this is the TVOTR mainstream pop "sell out" album. Not at all since "Nine types of light" has the customary edge you expect from this band and enough delicate and raw experimentation to separate it from the very run of mill preoccupations of the recent release by those other New York "pioneers" The Strokes.

It starts perversely with "Second song" with its almost spoken lyrics, which leads to a falsetto funk workout of such dirty hue that you will feel the need for a cleansing shower. Next up "Keep your heart" is an obvious single and great slice of pop music packed with huge bass lines, while "You" is an immediate highlight with it almost high funk style vocal and dark backdrop. The trippy ballad "Killer Crane" is one of the albums gentler more reflective moments and on first hearing is one of the weaker tracks, although you suspect that this very untypical TVOTR track (with what sounds like a banjo in the mix?) could be one of the albums delicious slow burners. It is followed by the brilliant single "Will do" which starts with chiming glockenspiel type notes and is located in that territory which TV on the Radio literally "own and is a distant relative of "Love dog". Throughout you detect various influences from James Brown, Jane's Addiction, Living Colour and most of all Prince. You suspect that if the purple squiggly one was to hear "New Cannonball Run" his colour with turn green with envy. The synth funk of "Repetition" is another song jam packed with vocal variation and pulsating rhythms, although the fade out does unfortunately match the title. The last two songs are almost funk metal with "Caffeinated Consciousness" in particular starting like Radiohead's "Talk show host" and evolving into a rock rap backed by a big riff.

Its difficult in a review to capture the darker shades and nuances in this album with simple song structures becoming complex and distorted. This is combined with a enough twists and turns to keep TVOTR aficionados fully on board. "Nine types of light" is the sound of a band not necessarily pushing the envelope but consolidating. The relentless experimentation of some of their past records is not to the fore here but what is firmly in place is a level of top notch musicianship and a heady chunk of general excellence which means that we can be hugely satisfied with this scintillating record.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 June 2011
I first heard TVOTR, like most, when hearing Wolf Like Me and bought the last two albums. Cookie Mountain and Dear Science were quite superb examples of albums that were quirky, clever and very very good. Following them up was always going to be hard. If Nine Types Of Light comes across as a disappointment then it is only when comparing to what came before. As an album itself it really is quite good.

The first track, jokingly called second song, could come straight from Dear Science. Its exactly the same approach. I wouldn't be surprised to hear it was written at the same time. Its a joy to hear. Things go down tempo over the next couple of tracks and its whilst listening to them that you begin to notice the real difference - the fuzz and distortion is gone. The vocals are clearer and I think that this is an improvement - you can appreciate the lyrics more here. Tracks like Will Do have more impact because of this. Just like previous TVOTR albums different tracks appeal each time you listen. The label of Art Rockers should be forgotten by now as TVOTR are far more than this label. Their guitar driven clever rock is always welcome.

This album is also tinged with the sad news that bassist Gerard Smith died of lung cancer shortly after release. RIP Gerard.
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on 6 May 2011
Well I've listened to this album possibly too many times since it came out, and I still love almost every track. No, it's not as up tempo as dear science, but who cares? I love the mellow feel, and a change in sound between albums is both welcome and expected in my view, else what's the point of the new one?

During my first listen I realised I was taking out my ipod to look at the track name for every song, as they were all that good. I think that itself says enough.
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on 20 July 2011
The best record of Tv On the Radio so far. I'm particually in love with Will do, one of top ten songs this year. The vinyl format suits the album perfectly.
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on 3 May 2011
Hmm..not sure what the official Amazon reviewer was listening to but this is no poor relation to what has gone before, merely a band pushing their genius brand of music onwards and always upwards. Some of the songs crafted here have startling depth, something to immerse yourself in (Killer Crane, You).
This is the sort of album that will develop the more you listen to it.
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on 23 October 2013
I got this album after being very impressed by the Dave Sardy (TVOTR guitar player and sound genius) produced and co written album with Liam Gallaghers band Beady Eye second effort - BE.
Im glad i did because it has similar soundscapes and its all a bit spacy which i like a lot.
'You' and 'Killer Crane' stand out for me as being very well played and moving tunes that sound unreal on a good stereo. Overall it has cool moments of hip hop beats and rock mixed together with a very modern sound with excellent vocals, but does get a little lost along the way and skip button gets used plenty.
Worth a listen.
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on 9 April 2013
I love Dear Science it is a great album, bought this as an afterthought to that album. It's good but in my opinion it's not as good. It's a bit slower and a more sober album.
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