TV on the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain


4.5
superb

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
September 16th, 2006 | 70 replies | 23,391 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: TV On The Radio blend all kinds of genres with a assload of fuzz on this incredible sophomore album. The CD has close to a dozen class tracks, each one sounding a little different from the next and just as good. Its rare when a follow-up CD does so much b

3 of 5 thought this review was well written

The air is hot and humid, sticky with feedback and teaming with insects. Your heart pounds like the drums in a DJ Shadow song and your mind races, the sound hits you in a wave, that’s when you realize you’re not alone. You can make out a guitar, but more prominently the noisy sputtering of a distorted bass when all of a sudden you hear a voice. It’s deep and masculine, but soft and almost homosexual. The mysterious voice speaks in tongues and repeats phrases that you can barley make out, he speaks with a folk singer’s distinguished drawl. The music gets darker and fuzzier, becoming less of a sound and more of an environment. You run. A cold sweat moistens the back of your neck, you try to scream, but just find your self singing along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bad opening paragraph
My mind has changed
my bodys frame but god i like it
my hearts aflame
my bodys strained but god i like it
But don’t fear child. It’s not a nightmare that has taking control of your senses, its TV on the Radio’s brand new CD, entitled Return to Cookie Mountain.

TOTR are a heavily electronic experimental indie band, they broke onto to the scene with the incredibly monotonous yet excellent Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes to rave reviews and a small, but excitable fanbase. The new album is very much Bloodthirsty Babes 2, but it is also very much its own thing. The band discovers pop and melody for perhaps the first time on surprisingly soulful tracks like A Method and Blues From Down Here, but keep their depressing and dissonant feel. The music is heavy, but very minimalist. It is heavy more in content than style, with music forming tightly knit weaves and laying flat. TOTR’s musicians don’t necessarily play off one another, but more work together to get the most crushing sound possible. Nothing really stands out in the mix, even lead singer Tunde Adebimpe ’s voice can feel slightly muffled at times (except during the pub-from-space chorus to the cavernous Let the Devil In).

This is what makes this CD exceed TOTR’s debut so much, it has melody, substance and beauty and the band evolves itself from a squirming form of musical matter to what we hear on tracks like I Was A Lover. The difference is not to be seen instantly when the song is compared to Bloodthirsty’s hit Staring at the Sun, but its there. I Was a Lover is based on sad and lonely break beat that appears the second the album opens up. The beat is soon joined by jangly atmospheric guitars and detached and extremely depressing brass section that is pure trip-hop and awesome to the core. Tunde immediately does his best to break the vocal mold he fell into on Blood Thirsty. It is easy to notice how much more emotion he puts out on this record. He also takes advantage of the strangeness and melodic qualities hidden in his voice, as opposed to droning on and making up for it in the music. The lyrics seem to be a bit of continuation of the strange and often war torn stories told on the first album and make each song all the better.

TV On the Radio is one damn mysterious band. They have slow almost glacial build-ups and sketchy post-punk choruses. Their music can sometimes be catchy and other times devoid of all feeling. The band thrives on dank and depressing fodder, there music is very bass heavy, using guitarist, David Sitek’s steady hand to add some treble to a deep pit of music or just as an atmospheric pulse to the song. Each tune has its own feel, from the dance rock of Wolf Like Me to the trippy indie balladry of Provinces. Every listen through the CD’s smorgasbord of indie rock mastery has me believing it’s the last time, but like a manic disease, a smoking habit or a particularly annoying ex-girlfriend I always go back. Return to Cookie Mountain is as calming as it is catastrophic and easily would make my top 5 of 06 list. TV on the Radio, once thought of as the next big experimenters in indie, have shut all traceable outside influences and created a masterpiece that drips in everything from jazz and blues to stone cold electronica and punk rock. As Tony the Tiger might say “a GRRRREEEEAT” record. 4.5/5



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user ratings (512)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pixiesfanyo
September 16th 2006



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

More like return to kitten countain.

I was kind of impressed. But not muc.

Zebra
Moderator
September 16th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=review]his is what makes this CD exceed TOTR’s debut so much, it has melody, substance and beauty[/quote] I can agree with most of this but I don't see why they cover all of this up with mindless fuzz. There are some good tunes like "I Was a Lover" and "Tonight" but TVOTR just leave me cold. I enjoy the groups more slow paced and soul influenced songs rather then their quick paced and post-punkish ones. I guess I just don't dig the combination of the fuzz and the vocalists.


La Revolucion
September 16th 2006



1060 Comments


I just bought this, haven't listened to it yet. Hopefully it's better than their debut.

Review = A+This Message Edited On 09.16.06

niobium
September 16th 2006



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Young Liars was excellent, let's see how this one fares.

JohnXDoesn't
September 17th 2006



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i saw these guys on Letterman and they rocked like hell. i was hugely disappointed upon listening to the album. i would say that "squirming mass of musical matter" is still present and accounted for. i don't care that its indie or art. thats no excuse for this nearly unlistenable pap. ugh...

mr_jackalope
September 17th 2006



25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably the most notable album released this year. It's got some flaws, definitely, but still manages to be highly original, captivating, and solid as hell.

niobium
September 17th 2006



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh man, they played Letterman? I had no clue.

*youtubes and torrents this*

niobium
September 17th 2006



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhZtBgFUAhM

Good song, NOTHING like what was on Young Liars. I like Young Liars more, but if the whole album was that good, then I have a new album to listen to.

La Revolucion
September 17th 2006



1060 Comments


Wow...this is terrible.

KoraX
September 18th 2006



161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After 2 listens, Im not quite sure what to think about this album. Theres creativity in here but I think it just goes in too many directions.

ToolBox
September 18th 2006



26 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If the whole album was like I Was a Lover it would be a much better album.

Pwntendo
September 18th 2006



70 Comments


I like the general feel and atmosphere of the songs, but some of them just get kind of boring after awhile.

The Jungler
September 18th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man, I really don't get the hate towards this album. This rating is probably the solidest I've felt about a high rating in a while, the album is just gorgeous.
Thanks for the comments and votes, good to see some people listening to TV, wheter liking it or not.

incubliss
September 28th 2006



116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think this album is brilliant, reviewer has hit everything on the nose.

the first 5 tracks are some of the best they've ever written. Wolf Like Me has some REALLY great lyrics, and is insane seeing it live.

Two-Headed Boy
October 22nd 2006



4527 Comments


I saw these guys on Letterman and I liked what I saw. I'll probably look into them.

MyFavoriteBand
November 12th 2006



13 Comments


have not listened to it yet, I just started listening to tv on the radio, and they have a couple somgs I like

MyFavoriteBand
November 12th 2006



13 Comments


have not listened to it yet, I just started listening to tv on the radio, and they have a couple somgs I like

MyFavoriteBand
November 12th 2006



13 Comments


have not listened to it yet, I just started listening to tv on the radio, and they have a couple somgs I like

onefortheman25
November 13th 2006



196 Comments


my god! why must you post three times.

pulseczar
November 13th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, I can't believe some people are giving this under 3.
This Message Edited On 11.15.06



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