Nine Types Of Light

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8.00
Is this a comeback? Not counting Dave Sitek's fantastic Maximum Balloon and various other side projects, TV On The Radio have been on hiatus since 2008's Dear Science album and three years is an awful long time to wait for a bit of messed up FunkyElectroBarbershopJazzRock from the band that invented FunkyElectroBarbershopJazzRock. From the opening bars of "Second Song" (the first song) the band flit between downbeat and uplifting with refined ease, eventually culminating in the sort of mashed up symphonics that set TV On The Radio apart from many of their peers. At the same time, the falsetto tones of Tunde Adebimpe and the peculiar brass (deranged) arrangement will be a comforting sound for those fans who have been eagerly awaiting Nine Types Of Light. "You" keeps up the lush synth soundscapes and "No Future Shock" comes to a seething end which sounds like something Mike Patton would have dished out in an eccentric early 90s Faith No More track, a funk-rock theme which is repeated on several occasions throughout this record. Things then calm down for the first time on a breakneck first half with "Killer Crane", a dreamlike prog-ballad with a rare glimpse of acoustic guitar and a glistening layered keyboard backing throughout. Side B opens with "Will Do", a catchy single which is rightly getting its fair share of airplay on decent radio stations in the UK, it's the closest the band really get to "radio-friendly". "Repetition", as it's title knowingly suggests, is the only song on the record which follows a traditional rock pattern (it's even got live drums and a middle 8) ending with a cacophonous nod to "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style" by Canadian Hip-hop act Dream Warriors (even a traditional number can bring out the unexpected in the world of TV On The Radio). As usual there's a lot* going on in these songs and oddly, with this record the band have produced their own mutated version of a classic summer album. * Understatement