TV on the Radio

Dear Science (DGC/Interscope)

Although the Radio crew's talent is well-established, the band's music has always raised user-friendliness questions: Sure, 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain was excellent, but did anyone other than rock critics listen to it?

Dear Science tackles this conundrum head on, upping the accessibility quotient without smacking of sellout desperation. "Crying," for instance, uses a shuffling dance beat, a burbling bass line, funky guitar and a Tunde Adebimpe vocal that shifts beguilingly into falsetto at the best possible moments—a tack that also distinguishes the coolly insinuating "Golden Age." Other tracks, including "Dancing Choose," will present greater challenges to the uninitiated, but they're hardly unapproachable.

The result is a disc that should please fans even as it induces more people to tune in to TV on the Radio.

 
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