TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain

TV On The RadioThere’s a humorous moment in a Venture Bros. episode, where wheelchair-bound, Disney-esque super-villian Roy Brisby comments on how he won a panda from David Bowie in a trivia contest in the early 1980’s. “This was before the big trivia boom, but then Bowie always was a trend-setter,”. That much is true; whereas Bono is keen to mentor any band who want to conquer the world (the Killers, Coldplay), Bowie is keen to heap praise and collaborate with bands with a singular vision. He’s bigged up the Arcade Fire and collaborated with Kashmir, but he’s heaped some of his most lavish praise on TV On The Radio. Return To Cookie Mountain blends genres as effortlessly as 2004’s Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, but it a lot more polished and feels warmer and lusher than the previous album.

The opening track “I Was A Lover” has a glitchy, electronic beat with distorted sounds echoing in between. “Playhouses” has a woozy atmosphere that’s countered by the frantic drums. “A Method” features the band’s inventive do-wop vocals that they employed on the last album, “Tonight” is pleasant enough, but just goes on for a bit to much for my liking (I know, I can hardly believe that I complained about a song that went on too long). The ending of “Wash The Day Away” also goes on a bit too long. But overall, the tracks are to the point, and bursting with ideas and invention.

What of Mr. Bowie’s contribution on “Province”? Adding his vocals to Tunde Adepimbe and Kyp Malone’s make it hard to actually hear him, but his voice adds even more depth to the song, which is coated in a kinda dreamy ambiance (I really like the atonal piano). Another great track is the driving “Wolf Like Me”, it’s heavy bassline just powers the whole thing along until it’s defiant end. Overall, Return To Cookie Mountain is a stronger album that Desperate Youth…, it’s the work of a full band (they’ve recruited a bassist and drummer), which means they’ve been able to focus on the songs. The feedback they employ isn’t abrasive, it’s warmer and envelopes the songs rather than attack them.

Couldn’t work out what video to post, so I posted two. Aren’t I good?

TV On The Radio – Province:

TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me:


  1. John

    I absolutely love ‘Wolf Like Me’ but its the only track I’ve listened to off the album so far, mostly because I heard it in the Hottest 100 and never got around to hearing the rest. Will have to give the album a listen to later.

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