If you became trapped in conversation with a desperate person of a certain age/fashion of eyeglasses during the past decade, you probably had to talk about TV On The Radio. The band released a series of half-good albums inordinately popular among people who suck, which made them something to set yourself against. That was a shame, because they always had it in them to be sexy as hell.
Nowhere is that more evident than on Nine Types of Light, whose falsetto choruses and get-on-the-floor syncopation remind us what Midnight Vultures could have been if Beck hadn't chickened out. Here is the slow grind and monolithic bass that made Return To Cookie Mountain a secret party album, minus the preachy modern rock of Dear Science. TVotR makes two kinds of songs—smart and sexy—and Nine Types is almost all the second kind. For danceability and sheer audible presence, it is the best work of the band's career, harnessing its technical power while abandoning the constraining lameness of Art. It's as if the smartest guy in the room finally got drunk enough to go make out in the kitchen. It's what he wanted all along.