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TV On The Radio: Desperate Youth, Blood...

 
I won't even try to spruce up this review with ambiguous phrases or philosophical musings. Hell, I won't even mention Bruce Springsteen. Simply put, this CD is amazing. What TV On The Radio accomplished on the Young Liars EP is blown out of the water by this near perfect debut. Opener 'The Wrong Way' is a road trip highway driving song with the windows open; it's the song to listen to on your way to the rally.  'Poppy' is a spaced out, bass-intensive drug session gone wrong inside an old gospel church with retired scat singers as the choir. 'Don't Love You' is a 5 minute quasi-reggae-gospel-esque droner of a tune that winds its way through Adepimbe's declaration "I just want to let you know / I don't love you anymore." Once again, so many musical layers are mixed together, creating something entirely new and remarkable. 'Ambulance' is a doo-wop love song with backing vocals that sounds distinctly original; in short, its amazing. 'Wear You Out' is a 7 minute mix of jazz trumpets, insane drumming, flutes, and guitar that ends the album as perfect as it began.

Finally, finally, a band really and truly 'gets it'. There's so many layers with this band from jazz leanings to rock to 80s new wave to 50s doo-wop. TV On The Radio understands music as an art form; they've visited ancient galleries; they've painted canvasses; they've read unknown Russians long dead; they were fans of Basquiat before he was cool. They put music back where it belongs: with the likes of paintings, sculpting and drawing. They just understand, they just know. Check your calendars because they're on tour and you won't want to miss them. Throw out your Best of 2004 lists, they're about to change. Buy this album yesterday.

Darren Susin

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