WRCU Review: Rock

Steven Butler

A number of things should surprise the listener about TV on the Radio’s second album, Return to Cookie Mountain: the cut-and-paste electronica underneath the booming vocals of the first track “I Was a Lover;” the use of mostly live instrumentation, including some jungle drumming on the standout “Let the Devil In;” the washes of My Bloody Valentine-esque noise that appear throughout; and, maybe, the fact that these former cult favorites have created what could be the must-listen album of 2006.

Building upon the completely unique mix of soul, shoe gaze, post-punk, and whatever else they feel like in their first studio effort since 2003’s Young Liars EP, this Brooklyn-based quintet has gone beyond expectations and made an album that has no real precedent. Influences appear throughout, most notably on “Province” – a throwback to early David Bowie on which Bowie actually sings backup.

But TV on the Radio is its own little niche of music.The lead single “Wolf Like Me” weaves Adebimpe’s supercharged vocals over a powerful, guitar-led rhythm section and might just be the peak of the album. None of the rest of the tracks have the same kind of intensity, though the closer “Wash the Day” comes close. One can only hope that these guys will be able to top this.