"I'm scared to death that I'm livin' a life not worth dying for," worries singer/guitarist Kyp Malone on "Red Dress" from TV on the Radio's stellar third LP Dear Science. And Kyp is not alone. Once again, Dear Science finds lead singer/song writer Tunde Adebimpe at the crossroads of lamentation, frustration and acceptance, but never has it felt so crisp, earnest, or urgent as this.
With Dear Science we find TV on the Radio continuing with the more uniformly rockist sensibilities established on their second LP Return To Cookie Mountain. However, more often than not,they expertly call back to their more soulful, funk-influenced beginnings. Dear Science is not only TVOTR's most accomplished attempt at populist satisfaction, but also their most thoughtful and expansive work to date.
Digital Space Rock hybrids, funk influenced pop, and punked up dance numbers scatter the surface of the album, but the meat lies in the mentality. And it is one of both the desire for change and acceptance of the ultimate slow burn of it all. Tunde has rarely been this pointed or unambiguous, and Dear Science takes on a whole new identity among the band's catalogue because of it. This is an album that is both personal and universal, which is when TVOTR is at their very best.
Dear Science is chaotic but smooth; it is bitter and sad, but hopeful and human. Like Return to Cookie Mountain it pushes the boundaries of the term "masterpiece." While it is not as intentionally raw as its predecessor, Dear Science employs a more polished and focused form of their trademark exquisite rage that is no less biting