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click to enlarge TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain - Interscope - Sounds like: A progressive music fans wet dream - Short take: Confusing, discordant, sublime, genius - Its rare these days when you can actually say a new - album sounds like nothing else out there. But on Return - to Cookie Mountain, samples and hooks entrap your - interest, then the falsetto vocals, and the trip-hop- - inspired beats  it all leaves you thinking that this is the - type of cool shit Beck wishes he still created. The - complexity of the chord structures and convoluted - melodies boggles the mind. And you experience all this, - my friends, while listening to the first track, I Was a - Lover. Dont even get me started on the anthemic - Province or the wall-of-sound harmonics on A - Method. When singer Tunde Adebimpe delivers the - chorus This is hardly the method you know on the - latter track, you cant help but feel hes right.  John - Benson
  • TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain Interscope Sounds like: A progressive music fans wet dream Short take: Confusing, discordant, sublime, genius Its rare these days when you can actually say a new album sounds like nothing else out there. But on Return to Cookie Mountain, samples and hooks entrap your interest, then the falsetto vocals, and the trip-hop- inspired beats it all leaves you thinking that this is the type of cool shit Beck wishes he still created. The complexity of the chord structures and convoluted melodies boggles the mind. And you experience all this, my friends, while listening to the first track, I Was a Lover. Dont even get me started on the anthemic Province or the wall-of-sound harmonics on A Method. When singer Tunde Adebimpe delivers the chorus This is hardly the method you know on the latter track, you cant help but feel hes right. John Benson

TV on the Radio

Return to Cookie Mountain

Interscope

Sounds like: A progressive music fan's wet dream

Short take: Confusing, discordant, sublime, genius

click to enlarge Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio - XL - Sounds like: A daft gumbo of party-ready anything - Short-take: Madcap playlist potpourri - Its impossible to say what kind of music the Basement - Jaxx  well, do. Through their career, theyve done - everything from frenetic lounge music to dirty club jams - to robotic soul to jungle grime to bizarro reggaeton, - often all on single albums. Their fourth release, Crazy - Itch Radio, is no exception. But unfortunately, it de- - emphasizes their many strengths for their one glaring - weakness: Theyre exhausting as hell. Here, their - penchant for all things hyperkinetic and slamming isnt - as well-bolstered by novel ideas, leaving Radio, while - still giddily original and sonically baroque, more - resistible and obnoxious. Bands that ape their own great - ideas still produce decent albums, but why bother with - the facsimile when the originals right there?  Matt - Martin
  • Basement Jaxx Crazy Itch Radio XL Sounds like: A daft gumbo of party-ready anything Short-take: Madcap playlist potpourri Its impossible to say what kind of music the Basement Jaxx well, do. Through their career, theyve done everything from frenetic lounge music to dirty club jams to robotic soul to jungle grime to bizarro reggaeton, often all on single albums. Their fourth release, Crazy Itch Radio, is no exception. But unfortunately, it de- emphasizes their many strengths for their one glaring weakness: Theyre exhausting as hell. Here, their penchant for all things hyperkinetic and slamming isnt as well-bolstered by novel ideas, leaving Radio, while still giddily original and sonically baroque, more resistible and obnoxious. Bands that ape their own great ideas still produce decent albums, but why bother with the facsimile when the originals right there? Matt Martin

It's rare these days when you can actually say a new album sounds like nothing else out there. But on Return to Cookie Mountain, samples and hooks entrap your interest, then the falsetto vocals, and the trip-hop-inspired beats ... it all leaves you thinking that this is the type of cool shit Beck wishes he still created. The complexity of the chord structures and convoluted melodies boggles the mind. And you experience all this, my friends, while listening to the first track, "I Was a Lover." Don't even get me started on the anthemic "Province" or the wall-of-sound harmonics on "A Method." When singer Tunde Adebimpe delivers the chorus "This is hardly the method you know" on the latter track, you can't help but feel he's right. John Benson


Basement Jaxx

Crazy Itch Radio

XL

Sounds like: A daft gumbo of party-ready anything

Short-take: Madcap playlist potpourri

click to enlarge Justin Timberlake - FutureSex / LoveSounds - Jive - Sounds like: The first night out in a new city - Short-take: Pop, credibly - Defending Justin Timberlake still earns skeptical - eyebrows and disapproving frowns. Its true that the past - sometimes is just too damning, but hating this former - *NSync-er pays a blind eye to his present presence. Or - strategic lack thereof; his sophomore album merely - features him as a competent smoove tawker and falsetto - pouter, with enough pluck to overlay Timbalands Midas- - touched beats, the real stars here. Really, thats - Timberlakes ultimate accomplishment: On his own solo - album, he effectively negates himself, becoming one - sonic element of many, and safeguarding himself against - judgment. Whether you like or hate the man doesnt - matter one iota when his backing music is so polished. - Matt Martin
  • Justin Timberlake FutureSex / LoveSounds Jive Sounds like: The first night out in a new city Short-take: Pop, credibly Defending Justin Timberlake still earns skeptical eyebrows and disapproving frowns. Its true that the past sometimes is just too damning, but hating this former *NSync-er pays a blind eye to his present presence. Or strategic lack thereof; his sophomore album merely features him as a competent smoove tawker and falsetto pouter, with enough pluck to overlay Timbalands Midas- touched beats, the real stars here. Really, thats Timberlakes ultimate accomplishment: On his own solo album, he effectively negates himself, becoming one sonic element of many, and safeguarding himself against judgment. Whether you like or hate the man doesnt matter one iota when his backing music is so polished. Matt Martin

It's impossible to say what kind of music the Basement Jaxx ... well, "do." Through their career, they've done everything from frenetic lounge music to dirty club jams to robotic soul to jungle grime to bizarro reggaeton, often all on single albums. Their fourth release, Crazy Itch Radio, is no exception. But unfortunately, it de-emphasizes their many strengths for their one glaring weakness: They're exhausting as hell. Here, their penchant for all things hyperkinetic and slamming isn't as well-bolstered by novel ideas, leaving Radio, while still giddily original and sonically baroque, more resistible and obnoxious. Bands that ape their own great ideas still produce decent albums, but why bother with the facsimile when the original's right there? Matt Martin

Justin Timberlake

FutureSex / LoveSounds

Jive

Sounds like: The first night out in a new city

Short-take: Pop, credibly

Defending Justin Timberlake still earns skeptical eyebrows and disapproving frowns. It's true that the past sometimes is just too damning, but hating this former *NSync-er pays a blind eye to his present presence. Or strategic lack thereof; his sophomore album merely features him as a competent smoove tawker and falsetto pouter, with enough pluck to overlay Timbaland's Midas-touched beats, the real stars here. Really, that's Timberlake's ultimate accomplishment: On his own solo album, he effectively negates himself, becoming one sonic element of many, and safeguarding himself against judgment. Whether you like or hate the man doesn't matter one iota when his backing music is so polished. Matt Martin

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