Search - TV on the Radio :: Return to Cookie Mountain (with Bonus Tracks)

Return to Cookie Mountain (with Bonus Tracks)
TV on the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain (with Bonus Tracks)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

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CD Details

All Artists: TV on the Radio
Title: Return to Cookie Mountain (with Bonus Tracks)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Interscope Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 9/12/2006
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Experimental Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 602517056176

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CD Reviews

Return to TV on the Radio
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"TV on the Radio gave some serious reinvention to indie rock, with their debut "Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes." Then they sort of dropped off for awhile, apparently to tinker with their future sound.

Well, "Return to Cookie Mountain" is an evolution of what they've done before -- the art-rock sound, the grimy electro, and the rough edges that don't need polishing.This isn't quite "there" enough to be their masterpiece, but TV on the Radio is definitely sounding wonderfully mature.

It starts off with the year's best intro -- drum beats, clashes, and an offbeat horn symphony that cuts itself off, before repeating again. As the jagged electronic beats come on, Tunde Adepimbe begins to croon, "I was a lover/before this war... I'm locked in my bedroom/so send back the clowns..." It's a bittersweet song with a warm, rich feeling.

The closest thing they have to typical rock is the heart-pounding "Wolf Like Me," with its howled bridges and eerie feeling, and the expansive, tinkling, explosive "Playhouses." There's also the rustling, stomping art-rock of "Let the Devil In," the swirling electro-rock, the soul-rock, and the epic bass-rock of the finale "Wash the Day Away."

Don't expect TV on the Radio to really rock out in "Return to Cookie Mountain," since they got recognition for their equally dense debut. The songs that follow are too grandiose, too looped, and too dense to be toe-tappers. The only real flaw is their tendency to sometimes neglect music in place of atmosphere -- although even their failures are fascinating.

And that atmosphere is of a dangerous, beautiful place -- campfires, tribal dances, wild animals and flying over mountains. The repetitive drums, bass and more typical instruments are loaded down with flutes, samples, electronic beats, mellotron, cymbals. It's all tangled into a series of loosely-strung, hypnotic melodies that seem to swirl around on themselves.

But the most hypnotic instrument is the vocals. Adepimbe can be deep and soulful, desperate howls, or higher and soaring; either way, he hasn't got the typical disinterested rock voice. And the jumbled, colourful lyrics are hard to make out at times, and eventually they simple become another repetitive pattern in the music.

TV on the Radio have one-upped themselves with "Return to Cookie Mountain," and yet there's a feeling of unfulfilled promise, hinting that they'll get even better as time goes on."
Climb this "Mountain"
Alfonso Mangione | Chicago, IL United States | 09/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You won't hear "TV on the Radio" on the radio. You probably won't see them on TV, for that matter.

This is one of those albums too great to be ignored, but too quirky and demanding to get the attention of the mass public.

"Cookie Mountain" features swirling falsettos and a funky vibe reminiscent of D'Angelo's "Voodoo" or Prince's "Sign O' The Times." Times are bleaker now, and this is a darker, denser album than either of those masterpieces. It demands your attention but rewards it, too, with swirling soundscapes that you have to travel over several times to truly appreciate. Songs that sound strange on first listen become interesting by the second and downright catchy by the third or fourth.

Main vocalist Kyp Malone uses his voice more for musical instrumentation than for clear lyrical delivery; it's a good thing, because it's a wonderful instrument, but it's also a little sad, because the lyrics are great, too, and you don't always hear them. "I once joined a priest class, plastic, inert. In a slow dance with commerce like a lens up a skirt. And we liked to party. And we kept it live. And we had a three-volume tome of contemporary slang to keep a handle on all this jive," he sings on the brilliant opener, but on other excellent tracks like "Wolf Like Me," you won't necessarily know what he's singing unless you stopped to browse through the lyric book. Songs of contmporary urban angst, political frustration, addiction-haunted love, and divine inquiry float, ethereal, from his mouth into a hazy, churning kaleidoscope of gospel, guitar and synthesizer, with the occasional horn arrangement or driving drum track to keep things grounded.

There are no low points per se in this soundscape, only ridges between the peaks. Most of the peaks are closer to the front; "I Was A Lover", "Hours" and "I Was a Wolf" are perhaps the best tracks on the album. Still, you'll have a great time climbing this mountain."
Their best
J. Cacciola | USA | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Oh, how I was wrong about this band. Well, that's what two years will do for you.


Brooklyn's T.V. on the Radio have received consistent praise from various magazines and online publications over the past couple of years for their definitive blend of electronica, soul, jazz, a cappella, and indie pop. Their major label debut on Interscope Records, "Return to Cookie Mountain," expands their sprawling sound even further to yield one of the best albums of the year.

The name 'Cookie Mountain' sounds like something from a Mario game. In fact, it is the name of a level in the Super Nintendo title, Super Mario World. The record isn't an exercise in video game knowledge or something that would immediately remind you of a 16-bit musical score, but there are hints of beeps, blips, and scratches from sampling embedded in their music. Overdubs and constant instrumentation prevail; a constant motion, an urgency, much like a video game. Perhaps that is a interpretation of "Return to Cookie Mountain"; a return to their true, cultivated sound once promised on their debut EP, "Young Liars."

What really makes "Cookie Mountain" such a brilliant record is its ability to indulge. However, T.V. on the Radio aren't over-indulgent; their response to their audience is one of patience with long, developed songs. Perhaps I was too quick to dismiss their first full-length album, "Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes" when I purchased it in late 2004. It didn't initially hold my interest, because of other musical pursuits, but it showed a glimpse of what is captured here. Their live act has expanded considerably since then, aiding their evolving sound.

The first track, "I was a Lover" features a looping sample of a trumpet with the shoegaze-like distortion of guitar and synthesized drum beat from instrumentalist and producer, David Sitek. Guitarist and vocalist Kyp Malone jumps in and croons, "I was a lover before this war" pushing the album into familiar yet intriguing territory.

"Province" slowly eases into a beautiful, sweeping piano melody amidst Interpol-like guitar structured verse and chorus. Long time fan of the band, David Bowie, makes an appearance on this track, singing alongside lead vocalist, Tunde Adebimpe.

Jaleel Bunton's percussion initiates "Wolf like Me", the first single, a quick, wild, and expansive song while being still being very contained and poppy.

"A Method" incorporates some of the a cappella elements (amongst whistling and clapping) experimented with on "Ambulance" and their cover of The Pixies' "Mr. Grieves." The song truly shines as an instantly catchy gem, worthy of airplay like the prior track, "Wolf like Me."

"Dirtywhirl" is another standout, beginning softly and then exploding into a soulful vocally driven masterpiece.

Each song distinguishes itself from one another, unfurling without losing the sort of cohesion needed for continuous play.

To compensate for the delayed U.S. release, Interscope has provided three bonus songs, the quirky "Snakes and Martyrs," a slower, more electronic version of "Hours" (El-P Remix), and the low-key groovy "Things You Can Do."

Nearly every print publication has raved about the album: Rolling Stone, Spin, Filter, Paste, and Q. In addition, Pitchfork Media, Stylus Magazine, and Tiny Mix Tapes have given the album some of their highest marks.

The only flaw with the main album is that it may be considered too expansive at 56 minutes. Many of the songs are lengthy and require a dedicated ear. There will be comparisons to Radiohead, but T.V. on the Radio manage to create an entirely original sound. "Return to Cookie Mountain" is dense but a highly fulfilling listen. It may take several weeks for some of these songs to peak, but you will return to the mountain many times."