Beautiful downer "Family Tree" evokes the ethereal gravitas of Sigür Rös, while the knock-out "Shout Me Out" starts as a blissed-out reverie that explodes into a scribbly light-speed guitar workout straight out of a Velvet Underground live bootleg. "DLZ" builds up to a catharsis that ranks with the band's best – "Never you mind, death professor / If love is life, my love is better," Adebimpe hollers against a chorus of bleeps, whistles, bangs, and feedback.
I think I might prefer Adebimpe's more adventurous, outgoing anthems to Malone's slightly mellower songs, but it's a peanut butter-and-chocolate thing here — the two songwriters together are what make it all work. Multi-instrumentalist band member and producer David Andrew Sitek is key — he layers sounds without making it claustrophobic; the dense production is enveloping and rewards repeat listens.
Dear Science, bounces between the poles of love and fear, rage and acceptance, and it's this fierce struggle that animates it. TV On The Radio's music has always felt to me like it's being broadcast from about five minutes into our future. It's a channel I can't wait to tune into again.