Introducing The Block Party Featured Album of the Month
If you’re a fan of the Block Party (weeknights from 8pm-12amEST) on 91.3fm, we’re now featuring an Album of the Month with your New or Renewing Membership to WYEP. The Block Party Featured Album is available in CD format for a $60 donation to WYEP or Vinyl format with your $75 or higher donation.
Our debut Block Party Featured Album of the Month is Nine Types of Light by TV on the Radio. Become a WYEP Member at wyep.org and grab a copy on CD or Vinyl as your thank you gift during the month of May.
Mix Host Catherine Boyd’s review of Nine Types of Light:
Three busy years for the five brains behind TV On The Radio sat among 2008’s critically welcomed, Dear Science album and this year’s freshly-released, fourth studio album, Nine Types of Light.
While some artists may patiently wait years for inspiration to strike, these post-punk-funk members went hunting for inspiration in every possible creative facet. Outside endeavors kept inspiration for their latest album organic as singer Tunde Adebimpe and the late-Gerard Smith (recently passed away from cancer) offered their creative talents to the concept and musical composition of a public education documentary.
Tunde was also busy flexing his acting chops while working opposite Anne Hathaway in the film, Rachel Getting Married and Dave Sitek explored his solo opportunities with his band, Maximum Balloon. Even Kyp Malone sought other expressive avenues—touring for his solo gig, Rain Machine. Soon enough, though, they all put their heads together for TVOTR’s sake.
The end result? Nine Types of Light.
With a refocused attitude, the softer side of TVOTR addresses the more complex matters of the heart, which is executed with profound exactitude.
When the Brooklyn boys of TVOTR exchanged their familiar east coast scenery for west coast recording collaborations in Sitek’s home studio in Los Angeles, the sun must have done them all some good—the album’s overall outlook is a positive one, blending exhilarating tensions between brassy blares and funky crooked guitar strums, interlaced with Tunde’s hauntingly soothing vocals and idyllic proclamations.
On what may immediately sound like a melodic album soaked in laments about love and loss, the truer messages lie within the closer look between the album’s bookends, “Second Song” and “Caffeinated Consciousness”. The first track, “Second Song” steadily swells into the quintessential opener–a toe-tapping, idiosyncratic beat. As the bass thumps and the horns puff in retort, Tunde shares his recognizable falsetto to express poetically confessional lyrics. Pace switches, though, as the woeful “Keep Your Heart” achingly reaches onto the tail of “Second Song.” Opening with a slower-tempo, the steady beat carries the sullen piano tings and pensively plucked guitar.
“You” is a poppy-sounding groan and openhearted confession about regretting choices made in the heat of the moment. It isn’t the last time TVOTR explores that poppy-funk in Nine Types of Light either, as “Will Do” offers that same seductive-sounding shuffle while Tunde makes a raw affirmation about love for another.
The centerpiece of the album is the gentle, soulful “Killer Crane.” The track divulges into sincerity as Malone sings, “Leave it behind, Your restless mind, Your jealousies, But isolation demands your patience.” This beautiful poetry spirals around warm strings, bucolic banjos, and apologetic piano tings.
The album makes a conscious switch after “Killer Crane” when the tracks “Forgotten” and the robust “New Cannonball Blues” ease closer toward a mid-tempo. That shift isn’t executed, though, until Malone’s take on “No Future Shock” recalls that oh-so-recognizable TVOTR funk. The dance-scoot is a refreshing change up from the sorrowful material heard in earlier tracks in the album and serves as an inspirational ‘chin-up’ type of creed. That same up-tempo delightfully reappears for “Repetition,” a moment TVOTR takes to look outward to the rest of the world’s issues in an album with an otherwise introverted theme. TVOTR sound more comfortable in this accessible and recognizable style.
As the title may allude, “Caffeinated Consciousness” righteously closes the album with a bang. The beat is reminiscent to swaggering 80’s rap and ensures that the woeful tracks don’t bring the mood down too far, reiterating what TVOTR are truly all about.
TVOTR may have been a little more mushy-gushy with their release of Nine Types of Light, but they haven’t lost sight of what they do best—make incredibly fun music.
Pick up a copy of Nine Types of Light by TV on the Radio with your Membership today at wyep.org.