Review: TV On the Radio – Dear Science

by Winston "Stone" Ford

TV On The Radio
Dear Science,
4.5 Stars

Let’s be honest: I’m not a fan of TV On the Radio.

Their sound always struck me as being too avant garde and for their own good. Their disjointed, left field melodies were supposed to be a cutting edge example of the new Brooklyn scene. Too me, it just sounded like they were trying too hard.

However, with their latest release, Dear Science, the New York band has been able to make a cohesive and surprisingly accessible album. The addition of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra’s horn section creates an almost jazz feel that was never present on their last few albums. There are is alot more soul in Dear Science than previous records as well. Lead Singer Tunde Adebimpe’s voice sounds ever more Prince like in this offering, especially on songs like, “Golden Age” and “DLZ.” Unlike most of their music, which is honestly depressing, tracks like “Shout Me Out,” and “Red Dress” as well as the afrobeat tinged “Golden Age,” end up being straight up danceable pop. However, even through all of this, TVOTR maintains their artsy appeal and combination of self doubt and self loathing.

Having that said, TVOTR has crafted a beautiful album. After several listens, Dear Science becomes and album that can be listened to from beginning to end. Even if you need an academic degree to get at the heart of the lyrics, TVOTR has crafted an album that even a skeptic like me can embrace and appreciate.

TV On The Radio – Golden Age