TV on the Radio

Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope / 4AD)

ACL Music Fest Reviews

TV on the Radio

Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope/4AD)

"I was a lover before this war." It's with this that TV on the Radio's sophomore LP drops to its knees. The Brooklyn quintet's obviously matured since 2004's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes because Return to Cookie Mountain is essentially a protest album. Opener "I Was a Lover" drops with a simple beat and horn sample before Tunde Adebimpe's falsetto rings clear and bright. Guitar feedback gives the song a golden sheen, but nevertheless, Adebimpe spits: "We're sleepwalking through this trial, and it's really a crime." "Playhouses" is full of dreamy vocals and a synth/guitar/drum trinity that gives communion to effervescent squall. Standout "Wolf Like Me" is glorious with its harmonies and final eruption of dance rapture, and "Dirtywhirl" is another classic, both soulful and bombastic, guitarist Kyp Malone and Adebimpe's respective low and high end sparking like downed wires. "Blues From Down Here" feels grimy, though the sax bleats sound sublime, and then: "Never inquire how to be free. Just stay on your knees." Three bonus tracks are tacked on as previously released B-sides and a remix, but the 11 tracks before prove TVotR is peerless, and Cookie Mountain is a manifesto for now, in a world which seems to be perpetually burning. (Saturday, 4pm, Austin Ventures stage)

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle