TV on the Radio review

Brooklyn's beloved polyrhythmic avant-pop troupe return

Nine Types of Light
4/5

Rejoice! Brooklyn’s beloved funk-fuelled, polyrhythmic avant-pop troupe are back, and it’s business as usual. The business of confounding expectations, that is. Strangely, their fourth album doesn’t start well. Opening track (helpfully called ‘Second Song’) sees singer Tunde Adebimpe intoning like Noah And The Whale’s Charlie Fink. What the deuce indeed! Thankfully Adebimpe’s off-kilter falsetto quickly kicks in backed by chipper horns.

From then on, as Yazz once sang, the only way is up, and what a thrill it is to see how high TOTR go: from the cosmic drift of ‘Killer Crane’ to punky voodoo wig-out ‘No Future Shock’ to psych-pop confessional ‘You’. Their brilliant knack for hiding sonic surprises round every turn is in full force, layering each tune with deftly applied textures – a zippy synth line here, a neat guitar noodle there – as evidenced on the fantastic, heart-shattering love lollop ‘Will Do’. This is clever and groovy, left of centre and bang on the money.

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