http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7a8fb66ee7935581396df94ed18854fe0fbb1c16.jpg Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes

TV on the Radio

Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes

Touch & Go
Rolling Stone: star rating
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5 3.5 0
February 26, 2004

Brooklyn's TV on the Radio are indebted to everything from late-Eighties indie rock to classic soul music — on last year's stunning Young Liars EP they did a doo-wop cover of a Pixies song. The band's debut full-length, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, is an immaculate album about disappointment in all its forms: romantic, civic, psychological. TVOTR know how to treat painful topics with an elegant touch. "I will be your screech and crash," frontman Tunde Adebimpe tells a paramour on "Ambulance," "if you will be my crutch and cast." "The Wrong Way" is a protest song about the state of black America drenched simultaneously in muted rockabilly and jazz skronk. "Dreams" serves up artful, vindictive, spare poetry over dirgelike feedback. It all hangs together, somehow, swaying unerringly from one idea to the next. TV on the Radio's Desperate Youth is a rebuke to their retro peers: Not all the good ideas have been taken already.

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