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Track of the Day: TV on the Radio – Careful You

TV on the Radio’s underrated 2011 album, Nine Types of Light, represented something of a retreat from the bombastic rock…

TV on the Radio’s underrated 2011 album, Nine Types of Light, represented something of a retreat from the bombastic rock experimentalism of their previous offering. Nine Types of Light found them being more introverted, melodic and straightforward in their paeans to love and grief. Their upcoming album, Seeds, is shaping up to chart similarly sentimental territory, proved most readily by their new single, ‘Careful You’. 

Built around a looping, techno-indebted electronic pulse, Tunde Adebimpe’s swelling voice builds to create a grand and swooping epic. The lyrics, direct in their delivery, on first listen, seem to make this a heartfelt, albeit simple, love song with words like, “Oui j’taime, from the cradle to the grave”. But amidst all the exploding colours of the synths and flushing guitars there’s an undercurrent of tension and malaise as the chorus goes, “I’ll care for you, oh careful you”, sung in a way that makes the two phrases almost indistinguishable. Whether that’s a quiet threat about the fickleness of love or an impending warning of love’s all-consuming force, it shows that even when mid-tempo and amorous, TV on the Radio is anything but simple. 

 

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