Herald rating: * * * *
It's not just the distinct vocals of Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone that make TV On the Radio unusual. The band's mix of instruments and sounds, rock, electronica and experimental, are enough to warp a sane and steely mind.
The trio's 2004 debut album, Desperate Youth, Bloody Thirsty Babe, had a smouldering and unnerving atmosphere that moulded everything together. It was brilliant but odd. And Return To Cookie Mountain is more of the same.
Opening with the woozy yet penetrating strangeness of I Was A Lover, you know you're in for something you've never heard before. The album ebbs and writhes through the first half then gets creepier when it gives way to the disturbing mess of break beats of Playhouses.
With Wolf Like Me, the best track here, the band get into a more propulsive and driving mood. Dirtywhirl is pure wild-eyed soul, and A Method comes on like a cotton-picking anthem and their vocals sound even more stunning doing a cappella.
The world of TV On the Radio is weird and wonderful, and creepy at times. But, be brave, it's worth it.
Verdict: New York band's follow-up is as weird and wonderful as their first