#48: TV On The Radio – Staring At The Sun (2002)
For the past year or so I’ve been attempting to drill through fifty tracks of sizeable meaning. As if such a collection can be easily calibrated. Compartmentalised into a precise, tidy array. A fool’s game, to be honest; the world’s hardly lacking in arbitrary lists, compiled because hackery is cheap and ‘Imagination’ is a track on Erasure’s second album (see what I did there?). I’m very much looking forward to Lazer Guided Melody’s top twenty records recorded by men wearing trousers. Ten great records to play whilst vacuumming. The forty essential items you can’t do without in the afterlife. Repeat to fade.
One of the dynamic flaws of this Festive Fifty – the full list lives behind that link at the top of this page – is that music is intrinsically linked to mood, to a context one removed from sitting at a keyboard and banging out words. My favourite TV On The Radio track is 2008’s ‘Halfway Home’. Or maybe something from the somewhat under-rated Return To Cookie Mountain album. Or perhaps I’m so indentured to their deliciously fuzzy guitar licks, free-jazz undertones, Tunde Adebimpe’s wonderfully deep and atmospheric vocals, that we could throw a dart at their discography and still agree with this random selection. Because random is the operative word. Seriously – don’t bother with some kind of ‘best of’ list – and especially don’t publish it on one of those interwebs that are all the rage these days. You’ll only end up disagreeing with what’s there in black and white; we are fickle because we’re human.
Probably about time to end this particular series. Next week I’ll have some other contrived set of linked words – the ninety-six most effective records to melt down for use as gimp masks. Tonight, then for the subsequent three posts, I’ll complete the list of fifty.
And if you’ve done the maths, ascertained that 48+3=51, then you’re almost as sad as me. Cheers.
TV On The Radio / Staring At The Sun