My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #03

Number 03

Coming into this year, Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio were at a point where they didn’t have to prove they could make brilliant music – having already done that with 2006’s Return To Cookie Mountain – but instead they were faced with the hurdle of proving that are indeed one of America’s best bands, by overcoming the  pressure that inevitably comes with following such a resounding critical darling, or Cookie-monster, like that one. It was awarded best album of the year by many publications, most commercially Spin Magazine, and so the daunting task of creating the next album began. Let me tell you, I was certainly a part of the many who fell in love with Cookie Mountain when it came out, and I still continue to revisit it on a regular basis; but their fall-2008 unveiling of Dear Science, leaves that record in the dust. Yes, TV On The Radio is one of the best bands in the world today, and each and every track on this flawless collection is legitimate evidence of that. What makes them such a different group and gives us such an easy reason to label them as one of the premier bands in the world, is that they refuse to settle down on one type of sound or arrangements, shifting multiple directions constantly, and sometimes within the same song (opener “Halfway Home” being a prime example).

First single “Dancing Choose”, and the attention-demanding “Golden Age”, are destined to be embraced by a large set of both fans and critics alike as classics of modern rock; but on a full-spectrum basis, we cannot be so selfish as to forget any track on this Godsend of a record. If you thought this group was setting out to get your ass up off the couch and dance with their past recordings, wait until you give this one a chance; it can get even the shyest of movers to at least tap their feet, especially on underrated numbers like “Red Dress”. Production-extraordinaire and co-found member of the band, David Sitek, has put his stamp on a number of popular indie acts over the last few years, but he saves his most slick tricks for he and his group of fellows, and this time around he has outdone himself, making a record that’s so good that you’ve gotta think he even considers bragging about it at times. There are a number of entirely strange and unique, but fitting, transitions taken on this record. As they declare toward the end of the record, “Lord, if you got lungs…come on and shout me out!”. Let that be known to every living human being – just fucking let it out, and listen to Dear Science.

1.Halfway Home
3.Dancing Choose
4.Stork and Owl
5.Golden Age
6.Family Tree
7.Red Dress
8.Love Dog
9.Shout Me Out
11.Lover’s Day


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