Friday 5 December 2014

Spinning: TV On The Radio - Seeds

Slowly Brooklyn Collective TV On The Radio have been transforming their sound during the course of their existence. From the slightly rough and experimental sound in the beginning into a more accessible sound you can hear on their last album Nine Types Of Light. It resulted in a larger fan base although they lost some down the road because of this transformation. But it keeps me looking forward to new music from the band, so it's good news they have released their fifth record Seeds.

TV On The Radio - Seeds

On this album they are trying to balance their sound even more, patiently crafting their songs. You can hear this in songs like 'Test Pilot' and 'Ride' where they carefully build them up, layer by layer. Effectively they know how to create the right atmosphere for the tracks. It results in another colourful and detailed record which once again shows their talent and skill. They didn't get rid of the experiment completely, but it's evened out more. Some may regard this as less adventurous, but that's not entirely fair. The band just uses it less frequently, making those moments stronger, like they do with other elements. Patience is a virtue my friend and yes, this is the concept of "less is more" which totally works for them.

It doesn't mean they have completely lost some of the roughness of the earlier songs, although they do pace themselves a lot more. But a song like 'Lazerray' is a more old style straightforward track, that has plenty of impact between the other ones. Making use of lots of electronic drums and effects, many songs get a bit of mechanic feel but at the same time sound swinging. Together with the soulful vocals it sometimes results in a nice contrast and somewhat awkward atmosphere, like in title track 'Seeds', but in a good way.

Seeds shows TV On The Radio are still trying to find the right balance in their sound and music. They keep shaving their compositions until they eventually will make it perfect. It's not quite their yet, but they have taken another step. It doesn't make this record necessarily better or worse than previous ones, but it's an obvious step into the right direction. I'm confident they will find the perfect balance some day. Until then great and interesting albums like this one will keep us more than busy.

Listen to 'Seeds' on Spotify.

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