TV On The Radio – Dear Science,

Bowie’s pals Dave Sitek and Kyp Malone mix the pop and avant garde

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If their 2004 debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes saw this New York quintet pile on the arcane musical textures (honking sax, doowop vocals, gothic strings, squawling guitars) and their 2006 follow up Return To Cookie Mountain saw them concentrate on proper songs, then album number three sees them harnessing both texture and song to powerful effect.

Dear Science, (yes, the comma is part of the title) splits between moody digital ballads and Kyp Malone’s funkier tracks. The ballads include “Stork And Owl” (all distorted breakbeats, Joy Division drones and big strings), the drumless “Family Tree” and the gorgeous, Fender Rhodes-driven “Love Dog”. Better still are the funky ones, like the Prince-influenced “Crying”, and the irresistible Afro-funk of
“Red Dress” (a nod to Talking Heads). All are very good indeed.

JOHN LEWIS

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