TVOTR – What’s the Fuss About?

Oh dear I fear that I might have missed the point again.. after a rave review on a NPR podcast and then seeing esctatic reviews around the place I picked up my copy of Dear Science – apparently TV on the Radio‘s fourth album. But after a number of attempts to listen and love I am still a little nonplussed. Its OK I guess but there’s nothing here that grabbed me and made me want to listen again – just doing it out of sense of duty. Sure I can here a bunch of influences but mostly I hear a rather incoherent jumble of stuff that doesn’t seem to settle down (maybe that’s the point) and little to make me think that the claims of the ‘next great thing’ are well founded. ‘Halfway Home’ is an example of a reasonable track but with 127,000 Myspace listens it must be me with a problem – is this really this years music saviour?

On the other hand after heaven knows how may times picking up the CD and never quite buying it, I finally grabbed a copy of Neutral Milk Hotel‘s seminal album Aeroplane Over the Sea. Sadly now defunct (despite occasional rumours of reforming and new/old music) here is music who’s impact you can all too easily trace – Arcade Fire, Decemberists etc all acknowledge their debt. A few listens and you are hooked – those odd vocals and playing eat under your skin. With songs revolving around the issues of death and the here-after, war and other ‘big’ questions, often sounding like a music carriage rattling along with the wheels barely holding on, this is inspirational music. I wonder whether TVOTR efforts will still be sounding as fresh and vital as this after 10 years or so?
Photos courtesy TVOTR and NMH web site
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