Rating: Dig It!
Few bands can release five consistently terrific albums in a row. But TV on the Radio is not just any band. “Nine Types of Light,” is the Brooklyn-based quintet’s newest album, the product of a three-year hiatus. During this time, several members of the band released solo albums or collaborated with other high-profile artists. Coming back from these experiences, the band has managed to create an album unlike its previous efforts while still retaining the unmistakable funky and fuzzy dance-punk sound that has become its trademark.
“Nine Types of Light” begins with the rousing and epic “Second Song,” supported by lead singer Tunde Adebimpe’s hypnotic croon and a melodic accompaniment of pianos and horns. The rest of the album, however, avoids this epic sound and explores the band’s softer side. Lead single “Will Do” is a romantic and intimate promise to someone you could spend the rest of your life with; the antithesis of the raging sexuality bursting out of their 2006 breakout hit “Wolf Like Me.” The album’s longest song is the beautiful “Killer Crane,” a slow-building collection of vocal harmonies and banjo melodies. As always, guitarist Kyp Malone splits vocal duties with Adebimpe, his raspy voice lending itself well to the beautiful plea of “Keep Your Heart” and punk attitude of “No Future Shock.”
The striking thing about this album is how much more mature the band sounds — as if any member would be ready to drop everything to settle down with a family if the right girl came along. “Nine Types of Light” is a love album made without melodrama or sap, managing to remain consistently honest, soothing and different. If this is what love is supposed to sound like, they make a stronger case than anyone else.