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LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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TV On the Radio announced they will release their new album, Seeds, November 18 on Harvest Records. The band s new single, Happy Idiot, premiered Sept. 1st on Sirius XMU.
Happy Idiot ignites a hearty introduction to Seeds, catapulting out of the gate with an earnestly frenetic beat over a sweet sweet chorus of resignation. One thing that remains a constant with TV on the Radio is that there is no constant, and one curveball trounces another on Seeds.
Seeds was recorded at Federal Prism in Los Angeles and produced by guitarist David Andrew Sitek.
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Few bands put as much thought and complexity into their arrangements and production as TVOTR, which is why I can't understand why they end up releasing ridiculously loudly-mastered albums that just crush any sense of dynamics and make their music painful to listen to at moderate to high volume. It's like taking a beautiful landscape photograph on a professional quality camera, then printing it out on a dot matrix printer from the 1980s. Distortion (not the intentional kind) is apparent all over the place. TVOTR have a great drummer in Jaleel Bunton, but it sounds like he's playing a kid's toy drum set with all the compression applied to this album. The bass drum sounds like someone hitting a hanging rug with a hockey stick, especially on Careful You.
I don't like giving a bad review to good music, but the mastering is an inseparable part of the product, and in this case it's such a distraction that it really negatively affects my enjoyment of the music.
I was first turned on to TOTR when I saw them perform "Wolf Like Me" on Late Night with David Letterman. I was blown away with their (in my opinion) original sound; Tunde Adebimpe's vocals flowing over the pounding driving percussive song wasn't much like anything I've heard before. And though I enjoy the release Return to Cookie Mountain that the song is found on, the release overall just didn't pull me in as much as I was hoping for. Then came Dear Science and wow, I was blown away. There are few albums that I find strong throughout as Dear Science. This spurred me to want to see them in concert which further ingratiated me to them (you must see them live...you will thank me afterward).
I was looking forward to more songs like what is found on Dear Science. Their next release, Nine Types of Light, though a great release, was a little too slow and disjointed for me. I appreciate and respect a band not sticking to the same ol' formula, but Dear Science spoiled me and I have to admit, I wanted more. Then came their next release...
When I first listened TOTR's Seeds, I was immediately hooked with the opener Quartz. It had that same smooth hypnotic percussive groove that made me fall in love with the Wold Like Me and Dear Science. I was then both excited and apprehensive to hear what would come next since the opener was so strong. Careful You continued my excitement for this new album. With each successive song, I was drawn in deeper and deeper into TOTR's smooth, groovy, entrancing world. Once again, for me, TOTR released an album that is strong throughout.
I'm looking forward to their tour for this fantastic release.
My review is for Amazon. They claim that by buying the vinyl you get free MP3. However there was no download code included with the physical vinyl and when I go online I can only stream from Amazon. I cannot download MP3s myself... they are asking me to buy the MP3. I don't want to stream this everytime I listen to it.
Amazon, help a brother out?