TV on the Radio: Seeds (Harvest) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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TV on the Radio



Nov 26, 2014 TV on the Radio Bookmark and Share

There are, according to the Internet’s cod psychology, somewhere between five and seven stages of grief. Regardless of scientific accuracy, it is unlikely that any of the stages include “make a blistering pop funk album;” this brings us to TV on the Radio‘s fifth full-length offering, Seeds.

Three years have passed since the release of their previous album Nine Types of Light. That was their last album with bass player Gerard Smith, who tragically died of lung cancer nine days after its release at the age of 36. Seeds is both a tribute to a lost friend and the sound of the band dealing with bereavement.

The album is, at least to an extent, quintessentially TV on the Radio. There are some huge pop hooks, such as on lead single “Happy Idiot” and the punkish “Lazerray,” and the rhythms are fast, furious, and funky. The difference is in tone: the anger and overtly political lyrics of the band’s peak albums Return to Cookie Mountain and Dear Science have given way to anguish. Notably, the harmonies between the two lead vocalists Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpethe latter of whom now handles most of the singing dutiesfeel less raw than in the past and give the album a lovely, soulful feeling.

The effects of Smith’s passing are clear here and anguish is the preeminent theme on the album’s first half. Adebimpe opens the album singing, “How much do I love you? How hard must we try?” with a slightly strained, beautifully emotional delivery; “Can we talk? Can we not?” he goes on to desperately plead.

The second half of the album is where the best songs are found, however, and it’s here that the band looks to move on. In lesser hands it could be corny when they sing “Rain comes down like it always does, I’ve got seeds on ground” on the final track, but the band have shed the Most-Important-Band-In-the-World-For-Try-Hard-Twenty-Something-Hipsters image of their earlier career and are now just making effortlessly good, effortlessly cool music. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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