Its placement jars the listener out of the mood evoked by the opener, canceling the political feel of the album just as the group established a tension which now feels more like an indecisiveness. Over its other seven tracks, Desperate Youth never resolves this tension. Track one leads to indecisiveness, track two follows with a transfixed stare, and nothing happens after that, except some sex and some wooing and some, well, more of the same.
On any given song, TV on the Radio is impressive musically and far past their peers lyrically. Over the course of an album and a half, however, that interesting pathos turns into a dull character study. If you lived in New York City on March 9, , and were fortunate enough to own a shower boom box — one of those waterproof jobs that runs on about a dozen D batteries and picks up television as well as radio signals — you might have started your day with a blast of cold water and Matt Lauer and Katie Couric chatting about Iraq, where an interim constitution had just been signed.
If your window was cracked, you strained to half-hear these snippets of information about war and killing and technology over the sound of the water droplets hitting your hungover head and the din of the traffic — honking and reggae ton — outside on the street.
Forever buzzing and radiating, their blend of unctuous funk and industrial-grade indie suggests the collision of two forms of media.
And not just because it sounds like a mash-up of all three. Like those records, Desperate Youth speaks to what was going on in the city, the country, and the world in general, which was in pretty bad shape. After all, the last group with a predominately black lineup that had made real inroads on the alt-rock charts was the Dave Matthews Band, and in interviews, TVOTR were constantly fielding questions about having two black singers, Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone. Hell yeah, they do.
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David Andrew Sitek. Young Liars Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes Return to Cookie Mountain