Context – Working? Probably
I’m typing today’s review on my fancy new keyboard because–you guessed it!–I squandered my morning and had a busier afternoon than usual. I’m not complaining though, because the Corsair Vengeance K65 offers one of the most enjoyable typing experiences I’ve ever had (and I only added the “most” modifier to extend my typing because it’s that fun and I have an admittedly poor memory so I can’t guarantee I haven’t had more fun). A toast to mechanical keyboards!
Nonsense about my super sweet keyboard aside, today’s album is by a band I want to like so much, but somehow I always find their music a struggle. But not in a traditionally struggling kind of way–it’s not like I’m confused or necessarily feel challenged (in a traditional sense)–it’s more that I really enjoy the thought of TV on the Radio more than the execution. I like the individual sounds everyone is making, but when they come together something is still left to be desired. Like when you forget to salt your eggs and wonder why your breakfast isn’t as good as it was yesterday.
I think the problem is my introduction to TV on the Radio, like so many other people, was their single off Return to Cookie Mountain, “Wolf Like Me”. This song has it all: drive without being too aggressive, talent without being too flashy, a uniqueness without being so far removed from your day to day that you struggle to process it. I can’t say enough good things about “Wolf Like Me”.
But TV on the Radio is not “Wolf Like Me”. Most of their music is more thoughtful and subdued. They aren’t afraid to let their melodies breath and interject everything with an ethereal quality that is wholly unto themselves. No one makes TV on the Radio music besides TV on the Radio (that I’m aware of, anyway).
The disconnect is on my end due to my continuously expecting another “Wolf Like Me” despite never being promised that. I want more momentum and a pinch of a spectral, but all I got was some art-rock instead.
Maybe their next album will be 35 minutes of “Wolf Like Me”. That would bring me back to school only to rule it.