Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Maybe that's why this album has such an incredible pull: It doesn't make an atmosphere so much as a space to spend time in, and Adebimpe doesn't become a narrator so much as a witness.
  2. Might be the most oddly beautiful, psychedelic and ambitious [album] of the year. [21 Sep 2006, p.84]
  3. Odd, addictive, unsettling and beautiful. [8 Jul 2006, p.41]
  4. Return to Cookie Mountain sweats off most of the band’s more head-scratching impulses and leaves a manic, depressive, exhilarating album of experimental pop. [#15]
  5. TV On The Radio previously seemed content to roam the open horizon; here, it's intent on exploring the far side. The journey is, once again, enthralling.
  6. Return To Cookie Mountain is a party soundtrack for a fucked-up generation and an opus that inhabits the midpoint between the scarcely conjoining circles of eclecticism and enjoyability whilst maintaining consistency throughout.
  7. The savvier arrangements, brimming with unsettling sound effects, put Cookie Mountain several steps ahead of its fine 2004 predecessor, Desperate Youth, Bloody Thirsty Babes.
  8. Yes, the journey is often challenging, but that's what makes it unforgettable. [Dec 2006, p.190]
  9. Return To Cookie Mountain is one for the ages.
  10. A densely tangled masterpiece that floods and floors by straddling swaggering grooves and boggling cacophony.
  11. TV On The Radio do more than keep pace with their Shortlist Prize-winning Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes; they enhance nearly every aspect of their debut, creating an album that is uniquely theirs in the modern scene.
  12. Return to Cookie Mountain makes Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes look almost silly by comparison.
  13. 94
    As an artistic achievement, it ranks incredibly high on the list of great postmodern statements. Here is a piece of music (but oh so much more) that proves that something new can be done, and it can be entirely engaging. [#21, p.92]
  14. The music beneath Cookie Mountain is an earthquake of nearly generation-defining proportions.
  15. It’s more experimental yet catchier, more introspective yet more assertive, by turns gloomier and funnier, and above all richer in both sound and implication. “Return to Cookie Mountain” is simply one of this year’s best albums.
  16. TV on the Radio have crafted a work of immense, cataclysmic, almost overwhelming power and righteous fire.
  17. Experimental without sacrificing anything in terms of hooks or melody, passionate yet never overbearing, and clever without giving in to the urge to indulge, it places TV on the Radio on a plane with no peers.
  18. Return to Cookie Mountain validates the promise of TV on the Radio, an outfit that heretofore had displayed more potential than actual returns.
  19. Whichever way you look at it, as avant-pop or cubist soul, Return to Cookie Mountain remains an intoxicating, intriguing but accessible album.
  20. Never rousing and too often glum, the album is carried by its intelligence, integrity and terrible beauty. [Feb/Mar 2007]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 231 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 148
  1. JamesB.
    Aug 8, 2008
    Great music isn't always easy to digest. This is an 11-course meal of gristle on which I happily dine.
  2. Apr 25, 2012
    I applaud the experiment, but like most such projects, the results are mixed at best. Download "Wolf Like Me", "A Method", and "Dirty Whirl"I applaud the experiment, but like most such projects, the results are mixed at best. Download "Wolf Like Me", "A Method", and "Dirty Whirl" but don't buy the entire album. Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2012
    This is a prime example of why critics should be trusted more than users when it comes to music. Return to Cookie Mountain is one of myThis is a prime example of why critics should be trusted more than users when it comes to music. Return to Cookie Mountain is one of my favorite albums of the past decade, hands down. Dear Science was excellent, but this will always be my favorite TV on the Radio album. The grainy static of this album creates the perfect atmosphere. The guitar work on this album is also incredible. Some tracks are much slower than others, but when TVOTR decide to pick the pace up they really can shred their guitars like few bands can. All of this would mean nothing if it weren't for the emotional punch this album carries. If I had to pick one song that embodies the theme of this album it would be, "Province". On the chorus Kyp Malone bellows out that, "Love is the province of the brace", and that is certainly what this album is trying to get across. Love is pain, and TVOTR seem to understand that better than just about anybody else. To them though, love is worth the risk, and that only the brave seek it out. It's a powerful message that only grows the more you listen to this album. The opening track "I Was A Lover" instantly sucked me into the album. It's a fairly unorthodox rythm with stuttering drums, horns, and plenty of fuzzy guitars. Malone is also the vocalist on this song. Towards the end of the song he sings, "running on empty, bourbon, and god". As great as they are as a band, they may be even better songwriters, which is a bold statement I feel comfortable making. Malone proves on this album that he is an excellent vocalist. He shares roughly half of the vocal duties with Tunde Adebimpe, and they are a perfect balance. Adebimpe brings a powerful voice, and shows this in full force on "Wolf Like Me" which is one of the best songs TVOTR has in their entire catalog. The 2nd half of this song is an onslaught of guitars. "Playhouses" is another song where TVOTR flex their muscle and flat out jam. All of these songs I have mentioned are on the first half of the album, but amazingly the 2nd half of the album is every bit as strong as the 1st half. "Let the Devil In" and "Dirtywhirl" are both excellent tracks, as is "A Method". The two closing tracks "Tonight" and "Wash the Day Away" are the two most mellow songs on the album, particularly "Tonight" which is one of the more hypnotic songs I've ever heard. It's sad but beautiful at the same time. There really isn't any complaint I can make about this album. It's as close to flawless as you can get. Honestly, the only thing I didn't like were the bonus tracks. Not because they were bad, but because they were completely unneccesary. None of the 3 bonus tracks on the U.S. release are as good as ANY of the 11 songs on the album. Still, in rating this album I'm completely ignoring those tracks. After all, they are "bonus" tracks. Return to Cookie Mountain has held up very well, and it's been nearly 6 years since it's release. This album is the definition of a classic. Full Review »