Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #80 TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
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#80 TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
TV on the Radio's Return To Cookie Mountain is an aurally burdening confluence of a wide range of genres. It is a weight, a load that demands more than passing attention. It requires an effort that, normally, would deter most listeners. However, the reward is much greater than the journey there.
On the surface, Return to Cookie Mountain is a simple rock/post-punk record. However, a deeper listen (get headphones) reveals a blend of free jazz, noise, and experimentation that blitzes any other post-punk band in history. The synthetic drum beat that leads in to opener "I Was a Lover" sets the tone for what becomes a mysterious and surprising record - one that leads you in one direction, but slowly lets you realize that you're headed the opposite way. "I Was a Lover"'s opening drum beat sounds like it might be a shitty hip-hop track that you used to "bump" in high school. Little did you know that "I Was a Lover" is actually one of the most brilliant atonal songs you might ever hear. Pitch-shifted horns and electro-noise create a melody that is certainly experimental, but equally as accessible. "Wolf Like Me" is the most upbeat song on the album and the most straightforward. However, if you listen deeper, Dave Sitek's signature static noise/guitar combo is stunningly emotive and strikingly atmospheric. "Province" seems like a doo-wop rock 'n roll jam, but the backdrop of organ noise comes through the floorboards of the sockhop and lifts you off into space.
Through all the twists and turns buried deep in Return to Cookie Mountain, through all of it's experimentation, it is an extremely accessible record. Regardless, if you give it you full attention, you'll discover a million different worlds throughout the album.