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Thursday, March 8, 2012
TV On The Radio-Return To Cookie Mountain (JHO Hall Of Fame)
Each listen revealed another favorite song, or element of a song I missed before. The dual vocals from Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe became chant like, preaching to me from a dark alley in a big city. They offered hope, desolation and loneliness. They hit almost Beach Boys' like harmonies on "A Method", chanted like they were huddled around a giant bonfire on "Let The Devil In", and became bittersweet and seductive on "Dirtywhirl". While at first the vocals seemed distant, they became guiding lights on repeated visits.
And those musical dressings are just three of a hundred tricks that guitarist/producer David Sitek has littered all over "Return To Cookie Mountain". Listen to the tribal drums laid down on "Let The Devil In" and you would think you were at a cult's meeting. Or how he dresses the gorgeous "Hours" with flute and cellos. Or how the disco stomp of "Wolf Like Me" has guitars shredding like buzz-saws through the whole affair. It's audibly stunning to sit through an hour of so many tricks and turns. And the most hushed beautiful moment, for me, is near the end with "Tonight". The oohs that lead into each verse are ethereal. Each passage that goes by leads me to feel I'm walking down a desolate street in a big city, skyscrapers all around and Tunde Adebimpe & Kyp Malone are lending the perfect lullaby vocals, finishing each passage off with an ode of what to do tonight. My favorite: "A rusty heart starts to whine/In its tell tale time/So free it up tonight." And a clarinet part comes in somewhere along the line to stunning effects. And if "Tonight" doesn't end the album like it rightfully should, take comfort in the pure white noise bliss of the proper closer, "Wash The Day Away".