Just the other day I was thrust into a loud conversation about my ever-growing dislike for the band Genesis. Yeah, the trio bullshit with Phil Collins singing is repulsive, but I’m talking about the whole thing; Peter Gabriel included. Why the fuck is this idiot talking about Peter Gabriel and Genesis, you say? Well, as much as I hate the music of Genesis, I kinda dig Peter Gabriel’s voice. The conversation I had this week had me arguing that if Peter Gabriel could ever write a pop song that had the same monotone undertones as Genesis’ prog efforts, but kept to the standard writing style that included choruses and such, he would seriously have something there. Well, it never happened. Gabriel did some fine work with soundtracks (Last Temptation of Christ is fucking remarkable stuff), but he just kept writing rain forest bullshit. I had given up on the notion until, while working in a record store, one of the staff members put on TV on the Radio, and there it was.
Hearing Tunde Adebimpe‘s voice for the first time turned my head hard. I’ve been told it’s just me, but dude sounds a bunch like Peter Gabriel when he wants to. It was a matter of life and death or anything, but I feel better knowing that my idea of the perfect Gabriel exists out there. Yeah, I’m a self-indulgent fuck, but it’s my head I wrestle with each and everyday, and blessed are the small victories.
While sifting through the bins at Vertigo Records, really pining for some interesting pop music, out jumped the beautiful package for the latest helping from TV on the Radio entitled SEEDS. I’ve been on a real straight forward rock kick for the past few weeks, but I really do love me some good pop music. Fuck all the bullshit that flows through teenagers earbulbs. I’m talking about stuff like Super Furry Animals and such; the perfect mix of electronic and analog space pop. SEEDS feels a fuck of a lot like that. In fact, there are times it feels like SFA was in the room for the mix. Interestingly, there is a lot less of the Peter Gabriel sounding stuff on this one, and significantly more SFA to it. Fuck me, but I like that better. Heck, there are times when Adebimpe sounds like Bon Scott and Bob Marley. I mean, he’s not trying to sound like them, but his voice just has that feel. Goodness, I like that. One thing got me into this band, and a more powerful reference will keep me coming back for more.
If you want something real smooth and mellow yet intelligent and challenging, give this band a go. It ain’t a surprise, but I recommend getting some of the silly stick in ya before this one. I mean, the Beach Boy feel of much of the album will keep you in dreamland for it’s duration, but a little propulsion help from the cheeb always makes haste in your travels.
When it comes to packaging, this record gets a serious 10 fuck’n rights out of 10. Double gatefold with each record being a different colour scheme. Each record has it’s own 12″ liner note package, and a wacky stencil-like acetate is included that makes the album cover all trippy and shit. Oh yeah, and they provide a download code. Whoever put this package together needs to hold clinics on how to do so. Well fucking done indeed.
In the past I’ve said much about my father’s record collection, and I still believe most folks who grow up with a true love of music learn much from older family members’ collections. My father listened to all the fat 70s rock I hold so dear, but he also listened to a lot of the pop giants. I grew up with a true love for good, intelligent pop music, and TV on the Radio are just that. Great fucking pop music.