Music Reviews
Dear Science

TV On The Radio Dear Science

(DGC/Interscope) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10

I don’t know what I expected from the new TVOR album, but one thing I certainly didn’t expect was to end up bored by it. Here was one of the most sonically innovative bands working within a pop context (I refer to pop in its most expansive definition), experimenting and at the same time broadening their appeal on their second full length album, and promising on the third to become even more user friendly. I’m not a big fan of esoteric noodling without any entertainment value so I was definitely ready to accept such a move, even though I’ve been a big fan of what they’ve done up to now. But things didn’t really turn out that way, or if they did, I’m so woefully out of touch that I don’t get it at all.  

The proceedings start out decently enough with Halfway Home, with its handclaps and “ba-pa-pa”s, and its odd chorus leading you to conclude that the band has struck the proper balance between their way-out tendencies and their pop inclinations. But on the follow-up, Crying, we find out what TVOR really has in store – an over-reliance on programmable beats at the expense of organic groove and melody. Their previous work had a ‘reach out and grab you by the throat’ quality that is notably absent here. The whole laptop rock aesthetic falls flat on a decent song like Shout Me Out, which, when it really gets going, is so reliant on a digital beat that the soul-stirring urgency the guitars are trying to pump into the tune is fatally undermined. I’m much more moved by DLZ, which sounds like it has an actual drummer on it. That one really seems to ooze a natural tension which has been their stock in trade. For the most part, the tunes are simply drab. For the first time, they sound bored, and I respond in kind. 
 
Sure, this one will make a lot of best-of lists out of sheer inertia, but don’t kid yourself; the quality of the tunes here is a huge step down from anything they’ve done before. They haven’t exactly lost their sense of intrigue, it’s just that on Dear Science it all sounds a lot less intriguing.

Comments for Dear Science review

Could not agree more. This

Could not agree more. This album, despite its notably excessive praise from other critics, was much less impressive than its predecessor and had a lot less to offer in terms of artistry. I gave it good marks for being a competent and decent album, but it failed to capture my attention.

what?

this album is amazing, your isnane

career defining stuff.

Hmm 5/10, yase excellent

Hmm 5/10, yase excellent review.

Couldn't agree less,

Couldn't agree less, actually. Fantastic stuff.

You must be thick! Career

You must be thick!

Career defining for sure... this album is amazing throughout.

Bradshaw

Nice post, thanks! homepage

what?!

dear science is incredible

plus its tvotr not tvor

you clearly dont have any idea. and you call yourself a fan?

This album got great reviews

This album got great reviews everywhere but here.

How contrarian of you.

How contrarian of you.

agreed

totally agree with the review, i get fucking angry when I listen to this album because the songs can sometimes even get annoying and TVOTR used to be so much better. A couple good tracks give me hope for their next album though

Completely agree

I've seen many places giving this album rave reviews, but in my opinion their 1st album is TOPS and I was actually introduced to the band via The Return to Cookie Mountain.

Glad I found a review I agreed with. Decided to bookmark this site. DLZ is probably my favorite song on this album. Second best...probably Dancing Choose.

thanks for this review. I

thanks for this review. I know there's a bunch of people disappointed with the new TVOTR but suffocated with this 'oh my god! album of the year' kind of review everywhere.

It seems like you're rating

It seems like you're rating the production more than the songs themselves. I've always found TVOTR's sound a little cold, and their lyrics a little impenetrable, but their melodies, harmonies, and variety (if not always quality) of textures make up for that. Dear Science does have an even colder, more electronic sound than its predecessor, but it has stronger hooks and is more danceable --basically, it's more of a pop album. I'm still not sure which I like better, but on the strength of the melodies alone, this album has to rank higher than 5/10.

Finally!

Totally agree and it's music to my eyes to read a disappointed review of Dear Science. I was thoroughly let down by this record. I was expecting something great after the reviews, but what I heard lacked soul and any semblance of a solid melody or song behind the production. I want to add that I found the falsetto mocking of and not an homage to early R&B singing. Maybe one day you and I will get it, nevertheless I appreciate your fearlessness to be the one to point out the Emperor has no clothes.

rottv Dear Science

Thanks all. I thought it was just me. I can find melody and beauty in noise but I can find none in this. I've tried and tried again but it just won't grow. Perhaps I am missing somehing but I think instead that most reviewers are hearing something that isn't there.

This album, despite its

This album, despite its notably excessive praise from other critics, was much less impressive than its predecessor and had a lot less to offer in terms of artistry. Visit http://voice-over.org

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