Good music is an authentic and original sound experience capable of moving human emotion. Great music is culturally transformative, perfectly comfortable in its own skin and groundbreaking in its stylistic approach.
With Dear Science, the members of TV on the Radio have, with 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain, made two great records in three years. Along with peers like Sufjan Stevens, the Blue Scholars and the Decemberists, they've emerged as defining artists of this decade in music.
The suspended sense of drama Tunde Adebimpe and company unleash from the beginning of this album is palpable. It's constructed on a single electric guitar chord that extends for minutes. The chord builds but never breaks. Drums swirl around it, synth rises from it, and throughout, Adebimpe stands apart as a dreamy observer, singing as if he needs to be cautious: "The lazy way they turned your head into a rest stop for the dead."
Dear Science is a candidate for record of the year, and the awesome single "Halfway Home" sounds like 2008 - full of drama, dread, power and ultimately, hope.