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Best Albums Of 2014 #9: TV On The Radio's "Seeds"

the wonderful radio

the wonderful radio

The first time I saw TV On The Radio was at Summerstage in 2009 (Dirty Projectors opened), their third album, the game changer Dear Science,  had been released the year before and despite the torrential rainfall at Central Park they were excellent. The next time I saw them was two years down the line at Radio City Music Hall, bassist Gerard Smith was on medical leave (and would sadly be dead a couple of months later) and the band were a little tired, a bad album, Nine Types of Light, didn’t help and the band seemed to be a mutation away from breaking it up.

However, at Governors Ball this year, TVOR were really good and the new songs sounded very strong, still with the electronic semi-indie sharding, but highly melodic r&b. The band have always had the ability to shine on stage. Tunde Adebimpe is a first rate band leader and when the band hits its groove the artistry is all on top.

So I thought Seeds might be a return to form and it is actually something else, a movement away from the art rock that degines them and into a sort of plateau where Prince meets the Dirty Projectors or something, deeply moving and lovely soul music. An album of mourning for their lost comrade and also of moving forward, or at least sideways, into deeper sounds, deeper music. With at least three killer songs, it should have been a huge hit for the band and it is strange it kinda didn’t happen.

On their fifth album, songs as good as “Quartz”, “Careful You”, “Cound You” and the title track “Seeds” should have been enough, I mean, any  one of them scould have propelled the band up the charts. It would be a real pity if this excellent soul album is considered a flop and not a return to power.

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