Critics' darlings in their native America, TV On The Radio have struggled to make much of an impression over here, and I can't see Nine Types Of Light altering that situation.
For one thing, it slips between too many genres. No bad thing in itself, except that their attempted yoking of falsetto soul vocals, experimental indie-dance strategies and stilted lyrical conceits is about as tasty as kippers with custard. The sort-of-romantic themes and sort-of-funk grooves lend a greater unity than usual, but save for a few tracks, the general impression is of lots of bustling, itchy industry – the scratchy guitars, the scuttling beats, the dying-firework synths – to no particularly attractive end. The best track here is "Repetition", mainly because its vocal, guitar and motorik drums inescapably recall the early Can.
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