> New TV on the Radio album  shows new maturity for band

From their debut studio album ‘Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes’ right through to ‘Dear Science’, TV on the Radio have always supplied the world with a compilation of intricate, colourful melodies but can ‘Nine Types of Light’ raise the bar for an already accomplished fine reputation?

Well, one minute into album opener ‘Second Song’ it becomes increasingly apparent that TVOTR have outdone themselves yet again.

Once more, the band have adhered to a previously demonstrated diverse spectrum of styles and it is impossible to ignore such an assorted range of influences as the album plunges into a Prince-like, fun and funky rhythmic tune leading onto punk, post-rock tracks such as ‘Repetition’.

This wall of sound is what TVOTR have become renowned for and it is what they do best. Some critics may say that such an ambitious attempt to include so much sound can lead to a clumsy mess of music with no grounding for an audience grasp. This album is certainly no muddled mess, as each track is cleverly integrated with the next and only shows off the bands love for many styles.

So does ‘Nine types of Light’ suggest any track favourites that might replace pinnacle tunes such as ‘Staring at the Sun’? Well may be it is too early to say, such a complex album deserves many plays before establishing its stronger elements and it is difficult to determine where the album peaks when each track is so equally entertaining.

In contrast to records ‘Dear Science’ and ‘Return to Cookie Mountain’ there is a sense of maturity in this album reaching a level which no previous album has achieved. Some could say that ‘Nine types of Light is an album of love songs’ as the word ‘Love’ appears in the lyrics of almost every song. But don’t be put off by these accusations, despite the pop-like hooks and shiny lyrics this album is far from being a generic addition to the mainstream.

Themes of warmth and intimacy are projected through track ballads like, ‘Keep your heart’ whilst other tracks ‘No Future Shock and ‘Caffeinated Consciousness’ provide a light-hearted enjoyable edge to ensure that the album does not become too weighed down in sentimentality.

‘Nine types of Light’ surely is a milestone in the career of such a fame-worthy set of talented individuals and retains itself within its own original genre created by TV on the Radio.

Sam Hudson