TV on the Radio’s first two efforts were rough and sharp: There was a lot of spirit but a lot of weight in those works. Though, to call them “efforts” is unnecessary as they were always cruising, doing something very special between shoegaze and rock music with the lightest touch. Polished harmonies that skate around dusty velodromes take off with ease and lift you up with a power clear in their artwork—energy and waves in the first, a dirty and eerie nest on the front of the second—ambiguity and a band rising from art rock toward something much more ambitious, and less safe.
Now, with Dear Science
, it’s hard to stay on the ground and not be moved. Don’t let the dull artwork
deceive, this is a band that have got bigger ideas. From a confidence to be playful and mature with noise and buzz, to the softly souled, avant a cappella whispers—great big ideas on a totally different plain. It’s uplifting, full of soul soul soul hopeful for a lost golden age.
For the third work, the cover art may have been pushed aside but artwork is important. More than the cover of a book, it’s the blurb, the tagline for the trilogy and it just ain’t that thrilling. I think this photo is better: rich and indulgent, fearful but rusted, dusk and dawn.