TV on the Radio: ‘Nine Types of Light’ Review

Artist: TV on the Radio
Album: Nine Types of Light
Label: Interscope

TV on the Radio’s Nine Types of Light is somewhat of a departure from their previous albums, but still absolutely brilliant. Shifting from edgy and experimental tunes to softer love songs, the band’s trademark buzz and synthesizer’s still remain, as well as the distinctive voices of lead vocalists Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone.

The album starts out with the easygoing tunes “Second Song” and “Keep Your Heart”, speaking of forever love accompanied with brass and a siren synthesizer. “You” has a subdued hip hop beat combined with retro guitars and a quirky bass start off with the lyrics telling of a break up and the lead singer crooning ”you’re the only one I’ve ever loved”.

“No Future Shock” changes things up a bit with an apocalyptic feel in a 60′s sound and state of mind, all the while sounding downright peppy, reminiscent of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”. “Killer Crane” slows it down and is easily one of the most beautiful and flowing tracks on the album describing the world’s beauty with a smooth blend of piano, strings, and even a banjo. “Will Do”, the first released single, is an easy favorite on the album grabbing you automatically with those first opening chimes, and only gets better adding the seductive lyrics of unrequited love with a catchy beat.

“New Cannonball Blues” is self explanatory; a blues beat surprisingly combined with a new wave feel and an off-key introduction. “Repetition” is arguably one of the weaker tracks on the album with a downright rock out tempo and shouting quick lyrics. It doesn’t seem to fit the format of the other tracks on the album and by the end, you have heard the word “repetition” about 50 times. “Forgotten” is the band describing their real life move from New York to Beverly Hills, CA with synthesizing percussion and a whistle, and is another weaker track.

“Caffeinated Consciousness” picks the album back up and while it is another in your face rock track, it’s alternating powerful rhythms and dreamy passages makes it an attention grabber. “All Falls Down” brings the lead vocalist’s low baritone voice in on several occasions with a slow easy pace throughout with more retro guitars infused.

“Will Do’s” two remixes change up the song, while the first mix (switch remix) has a better beat and slower feel, the second mix (dancehall mix) sounds like it could play in any club, complete with auto tune and the never ending rave beat.

Nine Types of Light is fresh and original, incorporating all the elements that make TV on the Radio a rare gem in the industry; their ability to infuse their electronic vibe in with other types of music, whether it be rock, blues, new wave, even pop, makes this album and every other from them a must have. RIP to their bassist Gerard Smith; he will no doubt be sorely missed in this group and the music world has one less great contributor. Hopefully he knew how awesome his band was/is/will always be.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Written by Alisha Vazquez

[itunes link="" title="Nine Types of Light on iTunes" text="Nine Types of Light on iTunes"]

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