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TV on the Radio

Nine Types of Light (Interscope)

Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., May 20, 2011

Phases & Stages

TV on the Radio

Nine Types of Light (Interscope)

"Do the no future," chants guitarist Kyp Malone in the urgent "No Future Shock," an early highlight from TV on the Radio's Nine Types of Light. It's a complex dance the Brooklyn outfit masters on its fourth full-length, molding post-industrial surges, avant-indie rock, and No Wave fervor into distinctly progressive soul music. After the challenging density of 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain, TVOTR eased up two years later with the more refined Dear Science. Continuing that trajectory here are suave ballads that find dire beauty amid glorious disasters and nuclear winters, most notably in the earnest enticement of "You," banjo-accented highlight "Killer Crane," and "Will Do," the last bolstered by a pair of remixes on the deluxe edition of the CD. Exceptions: the damning "Repetition" and opener "Second Song," which could pass for a Smog cover as frontman Tunde Adebimpe's bruised lyricism unfolds behind Dave Sitek's brassy, mad-scientist production. Ultimately, Nine Types of Light offers a reminder that love's sometimes best at the bitter end.

***.5

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