TV On The Radio has had a long and exciting career, and their fifth album is no departure from that. Seeds has been more than three years in the making, and a long three years it has been. With the passing of their former bassist from lung cancer in 2011, the band decided to take a hiatus until November of last year, when they announced they had begun work on this album. The sound of Seeds, however, like all TV On the Radio albums, is unexpected. It is strange and metallic. All the instrumentation sounds perfect and crisp. The most human element on it is the vocals, provided by singer Tunde Adebimpe and bassist/guitarist Kyp Malone.
“Quartz” opens up the album with a cheery choir and ringing bell-like percussion. With airy, echoing vocals and almost mind-numbing synthesizers, the song fades out into “Careful You,” one of the strongest songs on the album. The pulsing and methodical rhythm comes to a close with strange vocal effects. The first five songs on Seeds are nearly perfect. “Could You” jumps and swoons its way merrily into the first single “Happy Idiot,” a head-bobbing and melancholy break up tune.
“Test Pilot” and “Trouble” are the two strong ballads of the album. “Test Pilot” uses sharp, resonating chords as Adebimpe sings the bittersweet lyrics “I couldn’t fix it, so I picked it up and smashed it down for all to see.” “Trouble” is great, and should have been the last song on the album in this humble listener’s opinion. Other great songs are “Right Now” and the rocking “Lazerray”. “Seeds” is also a fantastic song. If you were ever questioning the ambitions and songwriting abilities of TV On The Radio, this album will prove you wrong.
- Careful You
- Could You
- Happy Idiot
- Test Pilot
- Love Stained
- Right Now