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TV on the Radio

Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope)

TV on the Radio's latest effort is a tad overwhelming at first. But after taking the time to fully absorb the layers and layers of incredibly dense textures woven by guitarist/producer David Andrew Sitek, it's clear that the baby justifies the labor. Wading through the fractured, shape-shifting aesthetic is made infinitely easier by the soul-kissed interplay of singer Tunde Adebimpe and guitarist/vocalist Kyp Malone, whose smooth falsetto runs would give Philip Bailey pause; like hovering beacons, the two transcend Sitek's often heavy-handed mix, leading the way through a minefield of mechanized beats, drones, ringing shoegaze guitars, bleating sax and pulsing bass runs. Alongside Adebimpe and Malone, even David Bowie (who lends his pipes to "Province," the album's highlight) seems incidental. That's impressive for a bunch of arty dudes from Brooklyn, but hardly surprising. The act's divergent sound -- apparently the result of dropping heroic doses of psychedelic post-punk, trip-hop, soul and world music -- continues to evolve with each album. And Cookie, easily album of the year, is the best yet.

 
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