The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Dear Science

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

41. TV On the Radio – Dear Science

Though not as groundbreaking as the group’s first two albums, Dear Science was arguably the big breakthrough to mainstream popularity TV On the Radio had been working so hard to accomplish – they had finally found a way to incorporate their pop-craft tendencies into sharply constructed accessible songs. While Return to Cookie Mountain still had an experimental tendency, Dear Science is mostly a more straightforward recording all the way through – it simply picks up where “Wolf Like Me” left off.

Kyp Malone’s harmonizing is in full force here – it’s even more at the forefront, since that ultimately is TV On the Radio’s trademark.  His “oohs” and “aahhs” are backbones to some tightly built indie dance.  David Bowie’s not around to help lay down the boogie, but it hardly matters; wound up rump-shakin’ “Golden Age” and “Dancing Choose” are two of the best upbeat tracks the band has put together.  Meanwhile, the group continues to expand and flex their songwriting muscle, with jam “Crying” and the strong ballad “Family Tree.”

In just a few weeks, we’ll have the first new material from TV On the Radio since this album was dropped back in 2008, and first samples sound promising, even if they seem similar to the groundwork lain here.  With smart writing, concise production, and an always energetic live presence, Dear Science, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at #12, was the group’s first shining moment in the spotlight of “big bands” in the world of indie rock.  TV On the Radio has always been a progressive collective, and I look forward to their triumphant return in 2011.

TV On the Radio – Halfway Home

TV On the Radio – Dancing Choose

TV On the Radio – Golden Age

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