Compare that song with Cookie Mountain's "Wolf Like Me," where he doesn't want to smother you, but devour you. The band attacks with ferocity as Adebimpe seduces his Little Red Riding Hood: "You'll never know / Unless we go / So let me show you."
For all its enigmatic power, Cookie Mountain quavers with tension. Shocked at its success "I feel like, after Desperate Youth, we were definitely astonished we were allowed to make another record," Adebimpe says TV on the Radio initially struggled to devise a follow-up. "We were suddenly questioning ourselves about others' opinion, which is always death," he observes. "But you always get to a point where you shrug it off and you say, I have no idea what anyone else is going to think. I can only do what I'm going to do.... The last record was intense periods of absolutely no fun followed by two months of the best time recording."
If Cookie Mountain closed a chapter for TV on the Radio's alabaster soul, then Dear Science signifies a new direction. Adebimpe calls it "brighter and cleaner," shorn of the dense layers of distortion of the past. The music is wide open. The future is wide open.
TV on the Radio play at 7:25 p.m., Sat/20, on the Bridge Stage at Treasure Island Music Festival.
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