The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Return to Cookie Mountain

By Eric Kelsey

Perhaps what keeps TV on the Radio going despite the pressure of expectations is the fact that they’ve already “sold out.” Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, played the lead role in a romantic comedy and acted on Broadway. Furthermore, the band lists the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn—long since a trucker-hat hipster haven—as their headquarters.

Much like your in-class arch nemesis, TV on the Radio full-length albums are largely unlistenable. They’re choppy, caustic and dronefully boring at times. Despite their foibles, TVOR continue to be one of the most innovative and indifferent-to-success players in mainstream indie rock.

Although there was much talk about how they would respond artistically when signing with the major label Interscope, it seems as though TVOR considers the label a conduit rather than a tastemaker. Even prior to the release of their first LP, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, on indie legend Touch and Go, the hype machine circled clouds of doubt over how the band might follow in the wake of their very listenable and brilliant Young Liars EP.

Like fellow Williamsburg, Brooklynites the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TVOR weathered the expectations penetrating debut EPs brought them along with moves to major labels and write-ups in mainstream newspapers and magazines. Furthermore, the Current featured both Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TVOR this past year.

If there is any cultural currency to be gleaned from TVOR and YYYs, it’s their steadfast adherence to creative ideals at whatever price. The circuits that run through David Sitek’s production and Adebimpe’s voice are one of uncompromising independence. Although Adebimpe struggles mightily as a lyricist, and his earnestness does nothing to hide his shortcomings, he proves the old adage: that it’s the singer and not the song.

Adebimpe and the rest of the band is, at the very least, admirable in their sincerity, unleashing an empathy in the listener making TVOR the most beguiling of ablutions.

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    Elizabeth RossSep 11, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Throughout this great scheme of things you actually secure an A for hard work. Where you actually misplaced me personally was first on all the details. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And it couldn’t be more accurate in this article. Having said that, let me reveal to you what did give good results. Your authoring is actually pretty persuasive which is possibly why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can easily notice a leaps in logic you make, I am not really convinced of how you appear to unite your ideas which in turn produce your conclusion. For now I shall subscribe to your issue but wish in the future you link your dots much better.

  • A

    Austin CornishSep 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • D

    Danyelle VerdugoJul 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Mass parsite