TV On The Radio – Seeds

Since releasing their 2011 LP Nine Types of Light (which was already a slight departure) TV On The Radio is in a much different place. They no longer record in their native Brooklyn and they’ve had to cope with the heartbreaking loss of their bassist Gerard Smith who died from lung cancer mere days after NTOL’s release. Understandably they’re a little different this time around. No longer are they jumping between genre definitions and writing scathing critiques of government or forecasting the upcoming apocalypse.

What you find on their latest release Seeds is less of the avant-garde rock stalwarts and more of the devastated men recovering from a loss. That’s not to say the band you fell in love with is gone far from it; between Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe’s harmonization Dave Sitek’s progressive yet endearingly rough-around the edges production style and the quick wit and blunt forwardness of the lyrics everything that set them apart is still present. It’s just in the form of their ever-evolving pop sensibilities.

Seeds is an optimistic record for those without reason to be optimistic. Singles “Happy Idiot” and “Careful You” keep the tempo upbeat but on the slower moments like the album’s breathtaking emotional apex “Test Pilot” you begin to realize how hard these last few years must have been for them. Seeds has TV On The Radio smiling through a bitter loss. It should be enough to make you smile too.