TV on the Radio

Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Youth (Touch and Go)

SXSW Records

TV on the Radio

Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch & Go) Tunde Adebimpe is a crooner. Not in a Johnny Mathis way, but in a lay it all on the line, no time for BS sort of way. He floated into the orchestrations of bandmate David Andrew Sitek, who produced Desperate Youth as well as fellow Brooklynites Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Fever to Tell, harmonizing with guitarist Kyp Malone on last year's stellar Touch and Go EP, Young Liars. Soulfully determined and poignant, Adebimpe growls just as well on Desperate Youth, which mixes gospel with electronic post-punk to create a sweaty and crisp veracity. One turn off Liars, "Staring at the Sun," is repeated here with processed layers unseen on other tracks, yet lends ambience to the overall atmosphere. "Dreams" waken with swirling keys and a pulsing beat, and single "Poppy" adds to that flavor with a bit more simplicity. The real standout is the a cappella rhythm on parts of "Poppy" and the entirety of "Ambulance." These aren't Boyz II Men arrangements; they're sincere exaltations needless of lyrics. When words are added ("I will be your screech and crash if you will be my crutch and cast"), the result is poetry. Despite the emotion busting the seams of DYBTB, it falls short of the amazing Young Liars, but with all of the elements of both discs hopefully combining into a third, TV on the Radio won't be seeing (or hearing) static anytime soon. (Friday, March 19, 11pm @ Exodus)


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