Today’s young adult generation has discovered a genre of music that has existed for several years, but was never fully recognized until people were finally able to listen to it on the Internet.
Indie music has become so well listened to because, for the most part, it doesn’t sound quite like anything that most people have ever heard before. With its fourth CD, Dear Science, TV on the Radio (TVOTR) not only proves this, but also shows that with the perfect blend of instruments and deep, soulful lyrics, the way in which people perceive music will never be the same.
Vocalist Tunde Adebimpe and guitarist, synthesist, bassist and sampler David Andrew Sitek formed the band in 2001, four years after they met each other while living in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment building. Their first CD, OK Calculator, was released independently a year later, and although this CD proved to be relatively successful, Adebimpe and Sitek decided that the two of them playing together was not enough.
In 2003, Kyp Malone joined the group as a back-up vocalist, guitarist, bassist and synthesist, and in 2004 TVOTR’s second album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, was released on the independent label Touch and Go. With the success of this album, the band joined the major label Interscope in 2006 and decided to add two new musicians, Gerard Smith and Jaleel A. Bunton, to the mix.
In the same year, TVOTR’s first major label CD, Return to Cookie Mountain, was released and named “Album of the Year” by Spin magazine. Overall, the band’s sound is considered to be a unique mix of indie, post-punk, electro, soul and free jazz.
Dear Science starts out with the deep yet energetic “Halfway Home.” This song, as well as the track “DLZ,” is influenced by ’80s Goth rock and the tunes perfectly depict TVOTR’s darker, faster side. The tracks “Dancing Choose,” “Golden Age” and “Red Dress” also show a faster side, but with a much more upbeat sound, despite the serious nature of their lyrics.
On the other hand, there are also a couple of slower tracks on Dear Science that prove to be quite amazing. The track “Family Tree” opens with a beautiful piano solo and the lyrics manage to describe two people falling in love without sounding sappy. “Dogs of Light,” a bonus track on the album, has a very jazzy feel with the saxophone playing in the background, and the female accompanying vocalist on this track totally complements the male vocalist.
To be completely honest, it was very difficult to find anything wrong with Dear Science. Adebimpe’s voice is absolutely incredible and is very similar to the voice of Bloc Party’s lead vocalist, Kele Okereke.
The lyrics on this album are also quite impressive because they go much deeper than expected and cause the listener to think more abstractly.
The one problem listeners may encounter is an opposition to Adebimpe’s viewpoints on certain issues; however, he is entitled to his opinion.
Overall, TVOTR’s Dear Science was completely and utterly mind-blowing. If the listener has not experienced any of the band’s older albums, this CD will definitely make them want to go out and buy them all. Dear Science has totally revolutionized indie music, and it is a wonderful listen for all occasions.