Dear Science, - TV on the Radio

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. No two tracks are the same, none could be anyone else. This is one irresistible party: the joy Adebimpe was looking for is right here. A great, great record. [Oct 2008, p.154]
  2. TV on the Radio have finally made an album that someone other than hyper-analytical music critics might actually enjoy.
  3. 100
    Dear Science, has all the euphoria and cosmic soul searching hinted at but not delivered on by lesser chancers such as MGMT.
  4. The thing about the indie-rock life is that even its depressives, not just mere realists like these guys, have a pretty good time.
  5. Dear Science, the third album from the Brooklyn-based art rock band TV on the Radio, is a vivid, angry, sensual soundtrack to the haunted life.
  6. Yes, this is shit-hot thrilling music. But it's also brainy and ambivalent, and more engaging for it.
  7. TV on the Radio may still--and always--make capital-A art, but they've found something universal, even joyful, in the noise.
  8. On Dear Science, TVOTR finds a more traditional consistency, transmuting that dirty experimentalism into a lush cleanliness that eases--rather than hurls--its songs into the art-making ether.
  9. Whether Dear Science stands the test of time like classic records must is impossible to predict right now, but, at this moment in time, it's sounding like one of the albums of the year, and its makers' latest, greatest masterpiece.
  10. 90
    Overall, Science expands the band’s already-vast palette that continues to defy and recontextualize any definition of a “rock” band.
  11. 'Dancing Choose's' title is pointed enough that the song almost doesn't need to prove that dancing on your troubles is powerfully therapeutic as thoroughly as it does, but that's just another example of this album's rare balance between craft and passion.
  12. 90
    Throughout Dear Science, TV on the Radio--which includes the rhythm section of bassist Gerard Smith and drummer Jaleel Bunton--flesh out Adebimpe's and Malone's ruminations with relentlessly inventive arrangements that make even familiar sentiments seem fresh.
  13. For all its musical precedents (first and foremost, this is an auspicious, brilliantly-executed dance album), what makes Dear Science so hefty and relevant is its beating heart.
  14. One of the best albums of 2008, Dear Science, is an album you can ramble on about for nearly 600 words before you realize you forgot to mention 'Golden Age,' arguably the best song on the album.
  15. Dear Science is a stirring addition to their ever proliferating catalog; a stalwart continuation of the band’s hooking groove, and easily one of the best releases of the year.
  16. There’s a sense of purpose here, of direction and clarity, shafts of accessibility that relegate the din to the background without ever compromising the potentially hostile underbelly of the band’s core sound.
  17. Dear Science is another highlight from a band whose career has essentially been an extended one.
  18. Dear Science cuts through genres like a laser through a music encyclopaedia, making strange connections, but always with pop clarity as the ultimate aim. As ever, Sitek’s production shines.
  19. TV On The Radio sound wise beyond their years, youthful stars whose mouthpiece contorts itself into funk shapes and whups without sounding like an out-of-depth chancer.
  20. 80
    Malone excels himself with the brassy pop of 'Lover's Day' and 'Golden Age.' [Oct 2008, p.112]
  21. 80
    They've toned down the distorted-guitar squall and ash gray skronk that blanketed their first two albums, the rhythms are friskier, more vigorous; the hooks accessible and easier to love. [Oct 2008, p.77]
  22. Dear Science is a brilliant balancing act between pop aspiration and music-geek aesthetics.
  23. Dear Science is all the more satisfying for providing a sense that the next leap will be just as rewarding.
  24. Deep Science should enhance TVOTR's reputation as one of the finest, forward-thinking bands around, along with fellow Brooklyn acts Animal Collective and Liars.
  25. The most engaging film characters have likeable qualities that conflict with something that’s inherently hard to stomach. Brooklyn’s TV on the Radio masterfully employ this tension in Dear Science,--apparently their major breakthrough album.
  26. It's a real thrill to find TV on the Radio pushing through the portal into the ethereal space-rock paradise that they always seemed destined to inhabit.
  27. The whole record is about the band skillfully weaving in and out of dramatically different textures and arrangements; each song plays with several musical ideas, not just one or two.
  28. It's that sprawling sense of humanity that makes Dear Science such a rich listen.
  29. Dear Science finds the band pushing still further, using its big beats and graffiti textures in service of its most accessible songs to date.
  30. Although it’s not a major departure, Dear Science, does have a more open, brighter sound than "Return to Cookie Mountain."
  31. It stands as a sometimes-confusing document of a particular time and place in the story of this constantly evolving art project.
  32. Dave Sitek’s production is the magnetic north of this musical universe, and with it the band is never lost. They would be well to sound more so; to get lost, rather than cluck with pleasure at how well they know themselves.
  33. It's all well and good, but we've mostly heard it before.
  34. If you're a fan, there's certainly stuff you'll enjoy here, but if you're looking for them to take another step forward, this might not suffice.
  35. On third full-length Dear Science, the Brooklynites have turned a corner, safe in the knowledge they can pen a good pop song. Not everything works, of course.
  36. 62
    Dear Science has its moments, but these moments means less and weigh more. Pretty cool? Well, it's pretty alright. [Fall 2008, p.91]
  37. Dear Science, spends its 50 minutes in flux between several worlds, none of them particularly memorable. [Fall 2008, p.78]
  38. They haven’t exactly lost their sense of intrigue, it’s just that on Dear Science it all sounds a lot less intriguing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 238 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 110
  1. exe.
    May 14, 2009
    I can't stop listening to this amazing collection of songs. Hearing most of this album performed live certainly helped me to appreciate the music more as a living breathing thing, where as a lot of songs from Return To Cookie Mountain (an album I find to be without flaw) were not as satisfying on stage. Anyway, it's not it's predecessor, without a doubt, but I'm into TVOTR's journey and see no reason to pick apart one of the few bands I can still get excited about. To each his own. Full Review »
  2. BriC
    Oct 15, 2008
    All you have to do is give it a little bit of time to sink in. When it does, the intricate music, addictive drum machines and lyrics THAT ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE will pull you in. Every song fits perfectly, the album soars to a height from the first song and stays there until the very last note of track eleven. Amazing. I love this album. Full Review »
  3. AndyB.
    Oct 10, 2008
    Cookie Mountain was an amazing album, but this is not just TVOTR's best work to date, but one of the complete, individual and well written I have heard in years. Best album I have heard all year by a long way. There will always be ratings like that of 'under the radar' but don't let that put you off. And to be honest who reads under the radar anyway. Full Review »