CD Reviews

TV ON THE RADIO & r & & r & Dear Science & r & & r & 4-1/2 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & VOTR's success seems more and more difficult to understand with each album. This statement should not suggest that the band is selling snake oil. The opposite happens to be the case. With their complex, layered songs, simultaneously welcoming and disorienting, the band reveals their willingness to reinvent themselves, to evolve and to explore, and to create something fresh in the post-rock wasteland of the past few years.

Dear Science, unlike Return to Cookie Mountain, moves through frenetic, jazzy-influenced rhythms in order to fashion a new form of dance-pop. A gross generalization, but try, appropriately, "Dancing Choose" and resist the toe-tapping instinct. The opening track, "Halfway Home," works for similar reasons. When TVOTR slow things down, as in "Love Dog," vocalist Tunde Adebimpe's rich and textured croon becomes the focal point. The song builds to gentle catharsis before slowly washing away.

Another exceptional album, and a fine candidate for this year's best.


DOWNLOAD: "Red Dress"


Tell Tale Signs

4-1/2 STARS

& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & he latest installment in the Bootleg Series, Dylan's newest albums contain little in the way of new material. Don't be concerned. Because of his ability to rework the well-wrought songs of his back catalogue, this two-disc set will sound new enough. While a level of familiarity with the original incarnation of each song will make the alternate versions sound richer by comparison, even Dylan novices will find reasons to smile.

Across 27 tracks, Dylan mines the past two decades of his recorded material. While some of the versions include live performances, the most exceptional tracks (the unreleased gems "Red River Shore" and "Series of Dreams") are stark studio products, with Dylan's voice stretched to its limits. To see these efforts helps to complete the picture of this masterful songwriter. His songs seem the musical equivalent of the Immaculate Conception. They aren't. He just works harder than everyone else.


DOWNLOAD: Everything