Sunday, September 14, 2008

Record Review Week: TV On The Radio's "Return From Cookie Mountain"


You know after REALLY trying to like this album and after multiple spins I have to admit that it ain‘t for me. Oftentimes a really good album sounds horrible (or just plain plain) after one or three spins, so when this album didn't move me the first time I decided to hang back and try again in a few days. Then again. And again. And one more time. Usually after three or four complete rotations (which felt like hard labor with this one) the jems will work there way to the surface. Sufjian Stevens was like that. So was Z by My Morning Jacket. Ditto for many of my desert island albums.

It never happened with Return To Cookie Mountain, and the big problem was that, well, I really wanted to like this one. All the reviews I read were hyping this as the album of the decade, and I wanted them to be right.
Unfortunately, none of them were. It is a plodding, lifeless album wanting desperately to be 'hip' and failing miserably to the point of embarrassment. Like your 40 something hipster college professor with a graying ponytail (who should love this, by the way), it will be pointless to argue with those who dig this album. I have to say that it’s obvious these guys put a lot of work into this, and they do have talent; it just doesn't take me anywhere. It feels pretentious.

If any of you out there have a different opinion I’d like to hear it.

3 comments:

ThomG said...

like "Wolf Like Me," but the rest passed me by, too. Say, aren't there supposed to be CDs headed my way?

Nik said...

Hey, I'll differ -- although I think I like their first record a little more, I quite dig this one too, although I freely concede it's a bit "difficult" and I have to be in the right mood for it. Short of time so I'll plug myself and the review I did of Cookie Mountain when it came out:

http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com/2006/09/music-tv-on-radio-return-to-cookie.html

Uncle E said...

I dunno Nik, just a personal review how I felt at the time. Who know, I may come around. Your review makes me think I need to pull out my copy and listen again.