“Nine Types Of Light” – TV On The Radio

When your previous album is named album of the year by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Guardian, Spin and countless other publications, you’re always going to fall short in your follow up attempt, unless you’re the Beatles, which TV On The Radio most certainly aren’t. Despite the high standards they set themselves on their 2008 breakthrough Dear Science, the follow up should ensure they avoid being labelled a one-album-wonder. 

Promoting a brand of music that can best be described as art rock, Nine Types Of Light comprises 10 songs. The tempo is consistently laid back, but an undercurrent of darkness lurks beneath the surface. 
Strangely, the opening track’s vocals immediately recall Johnny Cash, however by the end of the nearly four-and-a-half-minute ‘Second Song’ (which is the first song), Tunde Adebimpe’s vocals have turned to falsetto. For someone with a name like that, it’s disappointing there isn’t more melodic variety when Adebimpe is singing solo.
Vocals on tracks ‘Keep Your Heart’ and ‘You’ are deftly layered, further adding to the sense of fullness the album protrudes. ‘Killer Krane’ builds nicely, one of several atmospheric songs lavished with warmth by the band’s two bass players Kyp Malone and Gerard Smith.
While not as exciting a listen as Dear Science, Nine Types Of Light is the work of a band that is not concerned with industry expectations. Would make excellent background music at a Brunswick Street house warming party.
– Dean Watson