Nine Types of Light - TV on the Radio
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Nine Types...will make those who over-contextualise TVOTR finally quit their chin-stroking and live a little.
  2. May 19, 2011
    78
    Ultimately, Nine Types of Light offers a reminder that love's sometimes best at the bitter end.
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    100
    Finding the beauty and the beat in unpredictable chaos-keeping the heart when the world falls apart-has always been TV On The Radio's specialty, and here, it sounds completely effortless.
  4. May 6, 2011
    90
    Nine Types of Light is a damn good place for those of us as yet unfamiliar with TV on the Radio to start investigating one of the most adventurous bands around today. And I can guarantee that if you start here, you won't stop.
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    70
    Whether you will enjoy this ultimately depends on whether you're more of a rocker or a dancer - indeed, some people much preferred the mellower sound of their last record - but there's little denying that this album misses a lot of the urgency and sheer emotional energy of the band's first two LPs.
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    80
    It's with Nine Types that they've taken their longest step toward highlighting the influence of Bowie's late '70s/early '80s work and weaving it into a current context.
  7. Apr 15, 2011
    80
    Nine Types Of Light is an album that manages to blend experimentation with a welcoming accessibility that proves pop music can still be bold this far down the line.
  8. Apr 15, 2011
    70
    TV On The Radio has become less animalistic, less apocalyptic, less conflicted -- and more loving, more comfortable, more soulful.
  9. Apr 15, 2011
    81
    Once again, TVOTR channels something unique and forward-thinking.
  10. Apr 14, 2011
    100
    Nine Types of Light proves how hard this quintet can hit, experimental New Yorkers or love-sick idiots.
  11. Apr 14, 2011
    60
    Nine Types Of Light is mostly mellow, slow jams and funky, upbeat love songs.
  12. Apr 13, 2011
    88
    Any TVOTR fans hoping for a return to the band's heavier early days might have trouble with Nine Types of Light, an album full of such a brilliant clarity that the title could be referencing its track listing.
  13. Apr 12, 2011
    70
    Be it progression or passion for art, it is the key unifying force behind TV On The Radio, and it's not here.
  14. Beautiful, especially if you like your beauty grand. And beauty is good.
  15. 80
    You believe that the band feels this good, and given their creative freedom, escalating success, and near flawless discography, they probably do.
  16. Apr 12, 2011
    60
    Nine Types of Light finds the band firmly in the grip of a middle age that doesn't particularly suit them. So to put it in the popular parlance, it's a Dull Record for Times that are Anything But.
  17. Apr 12, 2011
    70
    Nine Types of Light feels like the work of a band more than content to make a good album - a really, very, very good album, yes - but only because they can't be bothered to make a great one.
  18. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    Nine Types of Light has the same basic sonic patina, but TV on the Radio still have cards left to play.
  19. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    Well, the end of all things must've been pretty bitchin', because the follow-up is pure heaven.
  20. Apr 12, 2011
    77
    Nine Types of Light is unquestionably TV on the Radio's most patient, positive recording to date, taking its cues as much from Dear Science's serene ballads as its brassy workouts.
  21. Light, more than anything I've heard lately, sounds complete and self-contained, and like most of the TV on the Radio catalog, it largely transcends genre. No other context is necessary. Nine Types of Light simply is what it is.
  22. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    Maybe it's time to alter our exercitations for new TV on the Radio albums: We might not be blown away, but TV on the Radio's sonic environment is still one of the most interesting venues in music.
  23. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    They've been freaks; they've been lover-boys. Now they're spaced-out romantics.
  24. Nine Types of Light sounds familiar, but it's a good familiar.
  25. Apr 11, 2011
    90
    Nine Types Of Light is another strong early contender for album of the year.
  26. Apr 11, 2011
    70
    In many ways, the album feels like a working holiday for the band; even if it's not as explosive as some of their previous work, it shows that they can age gracefully and try new things at the same time.
  27. Apr 11, 2011
    60
    Could be that the breathlessly lauded TV on the Radio is operating on some encrypted frequency that's beyond mortal ears, but the Brooklyn, N.Y., head-trippers mostly sound asleep at the switch on their fifth album.
  28. Apr 11, 2011
    90
    Even with these toe-dips in fuzzier, darker grooves, there's still a sanguine blanket that covers Nine Types of Light -- and, astonishingly, it doesn't come off as a wallow in overdone pathos.
  29. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    Nine Types of Light may fall somewhat short in comparison with TV on the Radio's other albums, but it's a strong, smart effort from a band that continues to push resolutely forward.
  30. Apr 8, 2011
    60
    You leave Nine Kinds of Light completely unaltered, neither enlightened nor offended, simply having experienced a series of first-person statements: Adebimpe in his doorless (and not terribly interesting) tower of self.
  31. 80
    The new songs shimmer with languid, sun-kissed grooves, anthemic choruses that U2 would kill for, along with a fine line in tender romance.
  32. 40
    The sort-of-romantic themes and sort-of-funk grooves lend a greater unity than usual, but save for a few tracks, the general impression is of lots of bustling, itchy industry – the scratchy guitars, the scuttling beats, the dying-firework synths – to no particularly attractive end.
  33. Apr 8, 2011
    88
    Though this is TV on the Radio at its most melodic and accessible, the music never succumbs to formula.
  34. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    mostly Nine Types of Light feels like the liquefying of a band, ten years and four albums deep, into the soft tenderness of pre-middle-age satisfaction. Like, maybe family life sounds pretty good right about now--and it fits them well.
  35. 83
    Light shines brightest when it mellows.
  36. Apr 7, 2011
    80
    Nine Types of Light is a relatively relaxed affair with a focus on the simple love song.
  37. May 18, 2011
    80
    Nine Types of Lights finds them boldly going forward with their most cheerful, party-centric effort to date. [May 2011, p.123]
  38. May 3, 2011
    80
    Follow-up to 2008's widely acclaimed Dear Science recorded at guitarist David Sitek's home. [June 2011, p. 92]
  39. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    Nine Types Of Light suggest they're settling in nicely. [May 2011, p.78]
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    Nine Types of Light is easily TV on the Radio's most accessible album to date. The album is less congested with experimental sounds and is much more cohesive than say 'Return to Cookie Mountain'. The level of quality has not dropped but the sound has definitely progressed since 'Dear Science'. The funk pop is still very strong in this album, with the inclusion of more love songs, which seems to be the base theme for NToL. The only amendment I would personally make to the album is to include the song 'Troubles' which is available only on the deluxe version to be included in the regular tracklist. If you're looking for powerful lyrics, sharply crafted songs and possibly even something to vibe to, I highly recommend Nine Types of Light. My personal favorite Album from 2011 thus far. Full Review »
  2. Apr 14, 2011
    10
    TV On The Radio simply just doesn't fail. Nine Types Of Light is almost as brilliant as Dear Science. Every track is brilliant and has amazing elements and layers of music that sounds so good. They always seem to change there style and with this album, they have more calm and patient songs than any other album they've come out with. "Will Do" is the stand out track. All In All, TV On The Radio has crafted there most calm album and also there second best record, in my opinion. A Full Review »
  3. Jun 22, 2011
    7
    For better or worse "Nine Types Of Light" marks a significant step away from the bold experimentation of previous releases in favour of more rounded song structures, conventional rhythms and clearer melodies. It is still unmistakeably TV On The Radio, and there is still a unique level of creativity given to each song, but overall the album leans more towards mainstream than any preceding recording. Never before has the influence of Prince been more apparent as Tunde Adebimpe delivers his soulful mix of baritone and falsetto whilst the band maintain the supportive grooves which range vastly in tempo throughout the whole experience.Of the down tempo numbers "Killer Crane" superbly transports the listener to the late 60s world of wilfully spaced out invention, with a sitar and mellotron for added authenticity. When the rhythms and noise ratchet up a notch, "Repetition" and "Caffeine Consciousness" highlight the band's continued ability to create alternative music with addictively stomping beats. The sad loss of bass player Gerard Smith to lung cancer just days after release casts a sombre shadow over this and past projects, emphasising his vital input to some of the irresistible songs the band have delivered over the last decade.

    Overall, itâ
    Full Review »