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TV On The Radio return three years past their last release, ‘Nine Types Of Light,’ with their new album, ‘Seeds,’ their first since the death of bass player Gerard Smith who tragically passed away due to lung cancer.
The record carries the weight of this experience but in a somewhat positive way. Opener Quartz features some heartfelt lyrics set to an overwhelming bass tone that shines a little light, along with the hooky melody lines, like a re-awakening of sorts. The distorted dance of Careful You speaks about the struggles of moving on, mainly in the scope of a romantic relationship, but you can’t help but feel like some of these lines mirror other events the band have experienced in the last three years.
As with all TOTR albums the musical influences vary as do the genres the band play with, from alternative rock to indie-dance, the mix of guitars and synths are in perfect balance. The album’s single Happy Idiot is an up-tempo track with downtuned melodies which seem like a slightly less quirky Regurgitator. Things smooth out for the groove of Test Pilot, another great combination of synthetic and acoustic sounds and melodies that set a strong vocal line against a simple electronic beat and shimmery guitars.
The atmospheric instrumental introduction of Ride is one of the most beautiful pieces of music that the band have ever written before things get a bit garage band with the fuzz heavy, Winter, a song that manages to hold itself for a majority with just guitar and vocals before a laid back beat introduces itself and completely changes its dynamic.
The record closes out with the acoustic driven modern day campfire song, Trouble, and the lo-fi, bass heavy title track, which is a love-letter of sorts.
TV On The Radio have changed a dynamic within their group, possibly out of their control, but it seems more relaxed, more accepting of whatever flows out of the band, which is essentially melody heavy tunes that genre hop seamlessly.
2. Careful You
3. Could You
4. Happy Idiot
5. Test Pilot
6. Love Stained
8. Right Now