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02.22.21 Neek'd: TV on the Radio 12.10.20 Best Album Covers: Q3 2020
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Neek'd: TV on the Radio

Sput sleeps on these guys so hard, I'll give you one guess why
1TV on the Radio
Young Liars


Yes it is that good. I know what you’re thinking, “Neek, are three out of fives songs really S-Tier? Aren’t you just overrating things again?” Well, guys, you probably didn’t realize that you’re looking at the best goddamn EP ever. Yes, really. TV on the Radio’s first release (barring a demo tape that I’ll admit even I haven’t heard) is so crazy stupid good that you should listen to it right now. Everything here is incredible, even the title track would be a highlight on some of their other releases. This rules. The a capella Pixies cover is unreal. Listen now!!

S: “Blind” “Staring at the Sun” “Mr. Grieves”
A: “Satellite”
B: “Young Liars”
2TV on the Radio
Dear Science

Dear Science is often credited as the pinnacle of TV on the Radio’s catalogue, and it’s not hard to see why. A monumental art-rock album, it leans less on the bluesy, urban sounds of their earlier works and more on a brighter, dancey mood. While the heavy songs hit the hardest (“DLZ” and “Family Tree” are just gorgeous, near-perfect numbers), the lighter moments don’t disappoint either. The only thing holding this record back is that its weakest moments, like “Shout Me Out,” are simply less exciting regurgitations of what worked elsewhere in the record rather than glorious fuckups or failed experiments. Regardless, this is a sonic high point that the band will likely strive to nail again.

S: “DLZ” “Family Tree”
A: “Stork & Owl” “Golden Age” “Red Dress” “Love Dog”
B: “Halfway Home” “Dancing Choose” “Crying” “Shout Me Out” “Lover’s Day”
3TV on the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain

Here it is kids, the album that blew up. Pairing crystal clear guitars with murky, oppressive atmospheres, this cemented the band as one the charts could count on. “Wolf Like Me” took off, rightfully so, and tracks like “Province” and “Hours” only proved that they had a true knack for melody amid even their weirdest sounds. I can understand this one being anyone’s favorite, but the bookends on this thing frustrate me—“Tonight” and “Wash the Day” are just too alike in their monotonous, lengthy pace to serve as a one-two punch closer, and “I Was a Lover” is affectively jarring, but it hardly captures the audience as well as… well any other song here might. Anyway, this is essential alt-rock here, and if you haven’t heard it yet, shame on you :)

S: “Wolf Like Me” “Blues from Down Here”
A: “Hours” “Province” “Dirtywhirl”
B: “Playhouse” “A Method” “Let the Devil In” “Tonight” “Wash the Day”
C: “I Was a Lover”
4TV on the Radio
Nine Types of Light

This is the most underrated one of the lot—a shinier and leaner offering as a result of the band’s move to LA, but with tons nuance and bounce. Though things may feel breezy compared to their previous offerings, the band makes up for it with a smorgasbord of sounds, spinning through tune after tune like a color wheel. “Killer Crane” is a somber ballad on the looming death of bassist Gerard Smith, while “Forgotten” features literal fireworks in its booming climax. It’s both incredibly varied and consistent, and if you don’t like it I don’t like you :)

A: “Second Song” “Will Do” “Forgotten” “Repetition”
B: “No Future Shock” “Killer Crane” “Caffeinated Consciousness” “You” “Cannonball Blues”
C: “Keep Your Heart”
5TV on the Radio
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes


This one’s grown on me quite a bit over the years—it’s obviously a disappointing debut album when compared to the EP that preceded it, but there’s a lot to love here. Outside of “Staring at the Sun” being ripped from that EP, “Poppy” and “The Wrong Way” are stellar highlights that proved the band had some serious legs when it came to rambunctious rock. The album is far looser and messier than their future work, but in an exciting way. Only a couple tracks seem to meander without much life in them, and these are hardly offensive as much as they are forgettable. Overall, very good shit!!

S: “Staring at the Sun”
A: “Poppy” “The Wrong Way”
B: “Dreams” “Ambulance” “Don’t Love You” “Wear You Out”
C: “King Eternal” “Bomb Yourself”
6TV on the Radio

As one of the most creative bands of their genre, TV on the Radio spent a long time perfecting their mystical blending of art-rock with pop music. This time things went horribly wrong thanks to overcooked melodies and a serious lack of nenergy—it’s insane to think that “Winter” comes from the same band that penned “Wolf Like Me. Despite some genuinely fun pop-rock bangers that don’t overthink things, especially “Lazerray” and “Happy Idiot,” it’s a serious self-own that the band called this their “best work by far.”

A: “Happy Idiot”
B: “Lazerray” “Quartz” “Trouble”
C: “Could You” “Careful You” “Love Stained” “Seeds”
D: “Test Pilot” “Right Now” “Ride”
F: “Winter”
7TV on the Radio
Young Liars

Neek's TV on the Radio Top 10:

1. "DLZ" (DS)
2. "Blind" (YL)
3. "Wolf Like Me" (RtCM)
4. "Staring at the Sun" (YL/DYBB)
5. "Family Tree" (DS)
6. "Mr. Grieves" (YL)
7. "Blues from Down Here" (RtCM)
8. "Province" (RtCM)
9. "Golden Age" (DS)
10. "Forgotten" (9ToL)
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