I quickly sought out its predecessor, Return to Cookie Mountain, looking for more of the same, but was disappointed by the album’s less cohesive sound.
The appeal of TV On the Radio is the seeming incongruity between their electrified funk sound and the English major complexity of their lyrics. Today’s song is yet another metaphor-rich track that begs for in-depth analysis.
‘Stork & Owl’ doesn’t have an easy groove like many of its counterparts. While most of the album is avant garde poetry that passes for dance music, this is avant garde poetry that sounds like exactly that.
This is more of a short film than a music video. The concept is that the band members are meeting up in a diner a year after breaking up. The first several minutes of the video, as well as spans at the middle and end, show the five men reuniting with the sort of casual improvisational conversation that made Diner and Tin Men such a treat.
“Who’s here because they saw this on The Shield??”
“Just heard this song in Justified and had to look it up!”
“Loved when this played at the end of House!”
It used to be considered selling out when a band gave its music to a TV show or commercial. These days it’s just smart marketing. And it works, based on the number of people who find their way from their TV sets to a YouTube clip of the song.
I took some birthday money and bought a bunch of new music right around this time last year. Actually, I even wrote a post about it… this one. Of the seven CDs I bought, two rose quickly to the top of the heap: Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad (the beginning of a beautiful friendship) and TV On the Radio’s Dear Science.
It feels like I wrote my review of TV On the Radio’s Dear Science just a couple of months back but checking the timestamp I see it was published on New Year’s Eve, 2008. Are we really halfway through 2009 already?
My opinion of the album hasn’t diminished a bit since then. It continues to feel like something brand new, a fresh blend of sounds and ideas with the funkiness of Prince and the lyrical ingenuity of Elvis Costello.