TV on the Radio

Dear Science

I guess it’s fitting to review Dear Science now that it’s made the year-end list of every inhabitant of Earth. There was similar hype in 2006 when TV on the Radio released Return to Cookie Mountain. I remember listening to the first few songs on that record before blurting out a disgusted “really?!” Cynical bastard that I am, I immediately asked myself why the band could be getting such attention. You see, critics tend to latch on to bands that appear different and “edgy,” forever searching for that next Nirvana no matter what form it comes in. In this case you have four fashionably bearded black dudes and a white guy from Brooklyn who play this sort of neo-soul mixed with elements of electronica and rock. I was equally cynical about Dear Science. The disc rolled around in my bag for months before I finally gave it a listen. And you know what? It’s good. Really good. “Crying” and “Golden Age” recall Prince at his best. In fact, the entire slickly produced record strikes a perfect balance of pop, rock and R&B. But it’s not that good. Dear Science did make my year-end list—as an honorable mention. More than fair.