tv on the radio – return to cookie mountain

this is a little more overwrought and melodramatic than i remember, and more than i particularly enjoy these days.

i understand again why a band like tv on the radio were so popular. i say were. this seemed to be both their beginning and their end, in a way. i know they produced other albums before and after, and have done a lot of things in tangents from the band, but nothing seemed to re-enter my consciousness.

there were some moments that connected back to other musical memories for me, such as some of the saxophone work that resembled morphine. take wolf like me and blues from down here as examples. at other points, it came at a time when sentiments such as love is the province of the brave (from province) made complete sense to me. it arrived not long after the end of the relationship i’ve detailed here as the one i wish i had not lost.

this serves purpose more as a document of a particular time, than a touchstone, past or future. i suspect it meant a lot to many people – maybe the generation in between the girls from sydney the other day and my own cadre. but it’s pretty clear this was the start of the third era in my collection that holds a small number of close-to-heart musical creations (relatively far fewer than the previous two eras). it’s probably clear that this wasn’t one of them.

when i think about it, on such nights as this, there seemed to be a trigger for me jumping on various bandwagons after that relationship ended. he expressed anxiety about his age, and while i tried to allay his concerns and deny any of my own misgivings about ageing, it seemed to kick off a period for me in which i almost let go of the identity i had spent ten years developing on what i believed to be my own terms. it feels like it has only really been in the last few years that i’ve set myself back on the righteous path – thought again about the elements of music that i appreciate most, and the musicians who write and perform it in such a way as to find the core.

it does at least end on a good note; the song wash the day. it distills what i think they did best – while there’s significant sonic depth to the song, it doesn’t hit you in the face as much as the other compositions, and still features the distinctive vocals. it showed what they could accomplish if they applied some subtlety to their craft.

nonetheless, in its own right it is memorable.


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