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Nine Types Of Light (Deluxe)
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Second Song|
|2. Keep Your Heart|
|4. No Future Shock|
|5. Killer Crane|
|6. Will Do|
|7. New Cannonball Blues|
|10. Caffeinated Consciousness|
|11. All Falls Down|
|12. Will Do (Switch Remix)|
|13. Will Do (XXXchange Dancehall Mix)|
Deluxe edition includes two bonus tracks. 2011 release, the fourth album from the Alt-Rock outfit. Nine Types Of Light is a lush and beautiful album that stands apart from the group's previous work. If their other albums had shades of dystopia and distress, this album, sung by Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, is filled with songs about longing and love. Nine Types Of Light is the follow-up to the band's gorgeous, glorious 2008 release, Dear Science, and proved to be its breakout release. It was named album of the year by Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly and MTV; and touring behind the album, the group sold out a year's worth of live shows across the world. This, however, did not prevent everyone from referring to TV On The Radio as a Brooklyn band. That is not a bad thing. The group - Tunde Adebimpe, Kyp Malone, Dave Sitek, Jaleel Bunton, Gerard Smith - are indeed from Brooklyn.
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NINE TYPES OF LIGHT can be seen as a refinement of the wonderful and more experimental DEAR SCIENCE similar to the way that the dark, sophisticated RETURN TO COOKIE MOUNTAIN was a refinement of their promising if somewhat monotonous debut, DESPERATE YOUTH AND BLOODTHIRSTY BABES. This time out, TV On The Radio focus more on straight-forward pop songs, especially love songs. The trademark TVOTR sound is still in effect, although the drones, poly-rhythms and atmospheric washes are less dense. The songs are beautifully constructed, full of sophisticated music and brilliant counter-melodies yet, as usual, they never sound cluttered.
Most of the album is kinda laid-back and funky although it does blast off into rock world on occasion and there's an ambient song as well. DEAR SCIENCE is certainly loaded with amazing poly-rhythms, and even though they're less evident on NINE TYPES OF LIGHT, the drumming is still highly creative, just in a less obvious way. There's also plenty of groovy, quasi-funk guitar to be heard and the vocals are so smooth and truly fantastic. Despite a few slightly awkward moments, the overall sound here is more natural and organic than on DEAR SCIENCE, particularly the vocals. More subtle too. And perhaps most importantly, the songwriting and sense of melody is as great as it ever was. Highly recommended.
"Second Song" - Vocalist Tunde Adebimpe begins the album by speak-singing, gradually evolving into a full singing voice. It's a disarming, off-beat way to start things, a sensibility familiar to fans that's also evidenced by the title of this the first track. The song soon picks up with a funky guitar and then launches into a full band attack as Tunde reaches that Bee-Gees level octave. It's a joyous tune, easy going yet upbeat, featuring some great brass accompaniment, another TVOTR staple. *****
"Keep Your Heart" - is a wonderful song. At first I had a hard time getting used to this one funk guitar part that sounds out of sync with the beat, almost as if it's breaking down. Then I came to realize it was probably meant to compliment the line, "If the world falls apart/ I'm gonna keep your heart." Love the way that one line combines the two themes of love and doomsday aftermath. Very intimate and romantic, very groovy and heartfelt. Love the cascading guitar at the middle 8 and the shimmering synths. Very uplifting! ****3/4
"You" - guided by a subdued hip-hop beat and a guitar with a great melodic structure. Features multiple layers of humming synths, some soaring, some kinda quirky and squeaky. A helluva love song, possibly the best track on the album. *****+
"No Future Shock" - a track in the true post-apocalyptic party spirit, and what a party it is! Another showcase of the band's fabulous flair for great melodies. *****
"Killer Crane" - A stately, atmospheric track with acoustic guitar and even some banjo that nevertheless maintains the modern sound found on the whole album. Amazing background vocals....absolutely beautiful song! *****
"Will Do" - Chiming synth bells announce this sweet love groove. So lush with a deep, almost intense undercurrent of emotion. A worthy first single and another strong contender for best album track. *****+
"New Cannonball Blues" - A more rocking song, it still maintains a funky sound along with some New Wave computer synths. More excellent brass touches appear towards the end. *****
"Repetition" - As one might guess from the title, "Repetition" is less mind-blowingly melodic than these other songs. A propulsive beat pushes it along until it breaks into open space and breathes, only to take off again with stuttering guitars and bobbing synth patterns. ****
"Forgotten" - begins in a fairly low-key manner with echoing synthetic percussion and subtle sonic touches. Sleigh bells, strings and "nuclear winter" soon kick in along with high-pitched vocals that glide overhead. The whole thing slowly builds into a horn and whistle-laden full bloom. It's another great TVOTR song that only they can deliver, but it sounds to me like they could've taken it further. ***3/4
"Caffeinated Consciousness" - is a great song, the most in-your-face rocker on the album. Alternates between a powerful, staggered rhythm and dreamy passages. The familiar sound on this one was teasing my brain for the longest time like an itch I couldn't scratch, until another reviewer here finally pointed out its similarity to "U-Mass" by The Pixies (- props to s.t.!). It's not a note-for-note rip off, but the structure and rhythm of "U-Mass" is clearly the inspiration. Hey, everybody has influences, even great artists so for me this isn't really a problem. Consider it a tribute. The song remains a punchy, upbeat climax to a killer party. ****1/2
Soon after the release of NINE TYPES OF LIGHT, TV on the Radio lost their talented bassist Gerard Smith to lung cancer.
Gerard Smith - rest in peace
While the songs sound different from one another, they all have the same theme: they're all love songs. One member, I believe it was Kyp Malone, said that he wanted to create more love songs, as their previous albums had a lack of them. Sadly, this is the undoing of the album. Because the theme of the songs is mostly the same, it just gets boring to listen to. The songs still ooze quality and and are fully finished products, but they can only do so much with the same theme. If the album had less love songs, it would be much better, but it sags under the weight of promising so many love songs.
That being said, there are still some great songs on the album. "New Cannonball Blues" is easily the best song "Nine Types of Light" has to offer, eclipsing "Will Do."
Because of a constant theme, "Nine Types of Light" fizzles compared to the band's previous albums,
Setting up camp in Sitek's home studio in Los Angeles, the band's move from Brooklyn, NY to the west coast occasionally has an influence on the music, making "Nine Types of Light" a bit of a departure from TV on the Radio's first three records. The mixture of anger and sadness heard throughout their earlier releases has been replaced with a more cheerful collection of tracks. The lyrics are still far from uplifting, but it's clear TV on the Radio are able to accept the ups and downs life has to offer with a new calm sarcasm.
One of the crowning moments lyrically comes on "Forgotten," which discusses the band's view of Beverly Hills and the chaotic style of life people endure there. Although the line "Beverly Hills, nuclear winter, what should we wear and who's for dinner?" may seem to be a grim outlook for the California coast, they call the city "paradise" one verse later.
The lead single, "Will Do" doesn't have the same energetic backing of earlier hits such as "Wolf Like Me," but it stands with the best songs they've ever released. With an enchanting beat backing words of seduction, "Will Do" may not be your everyday TV on the Radio track, but the band seems to master any style they choose.
"Nine Types of Light" has a lot to like for fans both new and old. The overall mood is more laid back than their earlier records, but the crisp production and tight arrangements are as present as ever. Adebimpe and Malone's vocals balance each other perfectly, keeping the lyrics in focus while allowing the music an equally important role. Their earlier releases may remain favorites of longtime fans, but "Nine Types of Light" is the perfect starting point for new listeners and it's sure to increase their ever-growing fan base.
Track Suggestion: "Will Do"
It's just a delight to hear a record that is bright, optimistic, and...wait for it...fun to listen to! No dull piano clinking...no distorted voices...no synths! (thank god, there is a god!) no girl in the music video wearing American Apparel and looking very bored...it reminds me of Seal circa 1990-whatever. Its not "ironic" its not "retro"...its sincere music of the present tense and it is beautiful.
Indie rock is great and all (as someone who was there in 01 for the beginning) but god it just feels so good to listen to some dudes who actually know how to play their instruments for once...so, so, so, so, so, unbelievably good... You will be listening to this record for a long time. Nine types of light is a bright spot in a dark era.
Let us start by discarding the words "art rockers" and in turn highlight the cathartic impact you experienced when listening for the first time to the wonderful Brooklyn band TV On The Radio''s 2006 masterwork, "Return to Cookie Mountain" which was the musical equivalent of "shock and awe" assault on your senses. It seemed to put them in a unique musical category all of their own with artists such as David Bowie paying homage and so far in front of their peers it was almost embarrassing. There appearance on David Letterman's show performing the epic "Wolf like me" was a dark delight and an internet sensation. Incredibly somehow in 2008 it got better upon the release of their last album "Dear Science" which won so many "best of" end of year lists that a uninformed neutral observer could have alleged poll rigging, not knowing that they deserved all the accolades and much more besides. Since then however the band has gone off in various solo directions and "Nine types of light" has been released to little fanfare which is shame since it is their most accessible and commercial album to date and by any standards a inviting yet thoughtful piece of music, jam packed with optimistic warm grooves and forlorn lyrics. But let us not despair that somehow this is the TVOTR mainstream pop "sell out" album. Not at all since "Nine types of light" has the customary edge you expect from this band and enough delicate and raw experimentation to separate it from the very run of mill preoccupations of the recent release by those other New York "pioneers" The Strokes.
It starts perversely with "Second song" with its almost spoken lyrics, which leads to a falsetto funk workout of such dirty hue that you will feel the need for a cleansing shower. Next up "Keep your heart" is an obvious single and great slice of pop music packed with huge bass lines, while "You" is an immediate highlight with it almost high funk style vocal and dark backdrop. The trippy ballad "Killer Crane" is one of the albums gentler more reflective moments and on first hearing is one of the weaker tracks, although you suspect that this very untypical TVOTR track (with what sounds like a banjo in the mix?) could be one of the albums delicious slow burners. It is followed by the brilliant single "Will do" which starts with chiming glockenspiel type notes and is located in that territory which TV on the Radio literally "own and is a distant relative of "Love dog". Throughout you detect various influences from James Brown, Jane's Addiction, Living Colour and most of all Prince. You suspect that if the purple squiggly one was to hear "New Cannonball Run" his colour with turn green with envy. The synth funk of "Repetition" is another song jam packed with vocal variation and pulsating rhythms, although the fade out does unfortunately match the title. The last two songs are almost funk metal with "Caffeinated Consciousness" in particular starting like Radiohead's "Talk show host" and evolving into a rock rap backed by a big riff.
Its difficult in a review to capture the darker shades and nuances in this album with simple song structures becoming complex and distorted. This is combined with a enough twists and turns to keep TVOTR aficionados fully on board. "Nine types of light" is the sound of a band not necessarily pushing the envelope but consolidating. The relentless experimentation of some of their past records is not to the fore here but what is firmly in place is a level of top notch musicianship and a heady chunk of general excellence which means that we can be hugely satisfied with this scintillating record.