04 April 2011

[live blogging] TV On The Radio — Nine Types Of Light

Nine Types Of Light, the fourth studio album from Brooklyn indie heroes TV On The Radio, hit the Internet this past weekend. Below you will find my real-time first impressions and thoughts of every song on the album. You will not find a holistic album review. I have already pre-ordered the LP here, and I hope you do the same to give the band some much-deserved support. The record officially drops April 12 via Interscope. Live blogging is just a cool way to convey how the album initially resonates with me, so you guys have some kind of idea of what it will be like. Here goes nothin!

1. "Second Song" — (3:13) Starts off with Tunde's voice at the forefront of some smooth rhythmics. Then it breaks into a more beat-oriented verse. Lots of "ooo's" leading into a nouveaux-funky falsetto chorus. A great opening track. Sets the mood for some classic TVOTR dirty dancy rock and roll.

2. "Keep Your Heart" — (3:18) Delay-beat drum tracks layer together make way for some bluesy riffs. More lofty vocal characterize the chorus. Damn, Tunde is beltin it out. "If the world falls apart/Still, I'm gonna keep you heart."

3. "You" — (3:24) A simple guitar lick falls over a simple drum beat to get your hips moving. Lyrically speaking, it's becoming pretty clear that this is a record about love. "You're the only one I love." Speaking of "You," wouldn't it be awesome to see Gold Panda open up for these guys?

4. "No Future Shock" —(3:28) An exotic guitar effect gets this one going into a toe-tapping political commentary. It's kinda reminding me of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes era, just a little busier. It's loud at the end, and the tender vocals we've been hearing so far get a little angrier. Killer horns show up in the last 30 seconds.

5. "Killer Crane" — (3:33) Complete 180 now with some poignant piano notes and acoustic guitar strums over galloping percussion. The organ below it all sounds like the one from Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." Vocals sync up with a mandolin maybe? Could be a banjo, but it sounds great and organic. Definitely the sunniest-sounding track yet.

6. "Will Do" — (3:39) This is the first track we all heard off Nine Types Of Light, and it's still as impressive as when I heard a few weeks back. It's smooth, driving, and heartfelt. It's rough around the edges, while simultaneously showing TVOTR progressing and staying true to themselves. "You don't wanna waste your life in the middle of a lovesick lullaby." The love motif gets a little darker in this track.

7. "New Cannonball Run" — (3:44) Dirty synths fall over a robust drum beat. Counter the heft with rapid-fire lyrics that cry for help. Sounds like Tunde is recounting how he feels after he been hung out to dry. The music sounds like that, too. Ah shit, here come the horns...! MMM!

8. "Repetition" — (3:47) Subtle changes to a delicate drum track make for a light first two minutes before making way for something a little rawer and darker. The track's title word is repeated and repeated and repeated some more over guitar shredding and heavy drum pounding. The song comes back down earth for a flash and then it's gone.

9. "Forgotten" — (3:51) A juxtaposition of sleigh bells and talk of summer fall over a string-section laden smoothly paved beat. The street then turns into a dirt road of fuzzy guitar, primitive drumming, and whistles.

10. "Caffeinated Consciousness" — (3:55) Here's the second track we heard from the album about a week ago. It starts of fist-pumping and big, and quickly turns into a debonair chorus. The song goes back and forth until it ends the album abruptly.

Whew. In this day and age of mp3's and short attention spans, it feels great to sit down and just listen to an album, front to back. This is the TV On The Radio we know and love who perfectly manifest natural beauty with urban complication. They are right on cue musically and lyrically. This album will turn heads, move bodies, and stir emotion. There will definitely be a copy in my car all summer long. TVOTR is back.

***UPDATE*** Stream the album via Rhapsody here.

Check out the music video for "Will Do"

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