Follow the Light
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year, genre spanning rock band TV on the Radio have released their fifth album, Nine Types of Light, to follow up their 2008’s acclaimed Dear Science. While the band just recently went through another shuffle of personnel, Nine Types of Light is the last TV on the Radio album to feature bassist Gerard Smith, who sadly died of lung cancer shortly after it’s release. It’s also worth mentioning that a one hour collection of music videos was put out by the band under the same name as the album.
The first song up is “Second Song,” which starts off with country-infused vocals and a church organ before the drums pick up the track, giving it plenty of soul. The groovy guitar acoustics, hip-hop infused drums, and almost yodeling chorus on “You” sound great amongst backing mid-tempo synthesizers. Multi-instrumental song “No Future Shock” employs acoustics, horns, rhythm and bass synth lines, and plenty of drums for a dancey number that makes you want to sing along, “Do the no future shock!” The following song, “Killer Crane,” is the former’s antithesis, utilizing primarily piano along with subtle use of dozens of other instruments and Tunde Adebimpe’s emotional vocals. The popular single from Nine Types of Light is “Will Do”, and rightfully so. The song is a powerful mix of multi-instrumental harmonies that come together to deftly compliment the vocal harmonies.
Arguably one of the best contemporary bands around, it’s a wonder TV on the Radio haven’t been nominated for a Grammy yet. Nine Types of Light is no exception to this. Adebimpe has one of the most versatile voices around and the talent of the band to play multiple instruments is nothing short of amazing. Their genre surfing musical style keeps things fresh without straying too far into experimental territory. The only drawback to this album is that it’s only 10 tracks long, but 10 tracks of rock and roll zen. Rest in peace, Gerard Smith.