- Summary: Half the band has departed (replaced by a drum machine), but Broadcast's third LP still features the vocals of Trish Keenan and James Cargill's retro-electronic sound.
- Record Label: Warp
- Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Electronic
- More Details and Credits »
MojoTheir best by a country mile. [Oct 2005, p.118]
Q MagazineYou want to like Broadcast. But they don't make it easy. [Oct 2005, p.115]
Positive: 8 out of 8
Mixed: 0 out of 8
Negative: 0 out of 8
Apr 8, 2020There's a sort of eerie sadness to Broadcast's fittingly named third LP Tender Buttons. Maybe this is what happens when we die - we bearThere's a sort of eerie sadness to Broadcast's fittingly named third LP Tender Buttons. Maybe this is what happens when we die - we bear witness to a kind of plaintive, bittersweet nostalgia, err on the side of bitter. And yet, tragic though the death of Trish Keenan may be, it somehow doesn't come as any surprise to the listener that they are hearing the voice of a dead woman.
The album isn't so much dream pop as it dream-of-a-long-deceased-loved-one pop; perhaps the sound of being haunted by the ghost of an overdue library book. It certainly fits the distant effect of the genre, but almost goes too far with it, producing an almost dissociative effect. It's surreal almost to the point of unreal, the kind of album for which it almost seems more believable that it just happened to kind of exist as opposed to anyone ever having made it. Each track lures you into a maudlin lullaby, and then the electronics kick in, and that's when the music goes from grim to tear-inducing. Like a warm, affectionate hug from The Headless Horseman.
And yet, Tender Buttons is hardly a grim album. Funereal and ghostly, maybe, but ultimately more celebratory and warm than morose and spiteful. It wants to love you, to wrap you up in its static-y, translucent arms. And in turn, you end up loving IT, because something about it just stirs some bleary-eyed, pure form of yourself that you weren't aware existed. Reminds you that beneath the sheen of dirt you've acquired over the years, there is some naive, friendly internal specter that refuses to depart into the next life, the kind that beckons you by name through rainy bus-windows, treasured Game Boy cartridges and old scraps of crude, sloppily-written essays from your childhood that defy obsolescence by turning up not infrequently during Spring Cleanings, a version of yourself that could've thrived in world absent of external forces.
These are the kinds of pensive things you think about when the album reaches its conclusion, gesturing towards what you already had in mind, starting once more, from the beginning, and continuing your solemn, yet somehow hopeful train-of-thought.… Expand
Oct 6, 2011To blend electronic and organic into a state of balance is a triumph that probably only Broadcast could achieve. In other words, TenderTo blend electronic and organic into a state of balance is a triumph that probably only Broadcast could achieve. In other words, Tender Buttons rocks. Less analogue, more jarring this time â… Expand
MarcusBDec 17, 2005Easily Their Best Work By A Country Mile! Live It Rocked Hard!
meeshafJan 11, 2006Broadcast does a lot with very little. Atmospheric music for the headphone set. Trish Keenan sings like a fallen angel. You won't be Broadcast does a lot with very little. Atmospheric music for the headphone set. Trish Keenan sings like a fallen angel. You won't be able to get it out of the CD player.… Expand
Jul 25, 2019Broadcast's boldest album to date
Best tracks: I Found the F, Black Cat, Tender Buttons, Corporeal, Michael A Grammar, SubjectBroadcast's boldest album to date
Best tracks: I Found the F, Black Cat, Tender Buttons, Corporeal, Michael A Grammar, Subject to the Ladder, I Found the End
Worst track: Goodbye Girls… Expand
MannySep 23, 2005I've played the album through about four times now and I have to say that it's another classic Broadcast album. The melodies in I've played the album through about four times now and I have to say that it's another classic Broadcast album. The melodies in some of the songs have never been more wistful. Favorite album tracks beyond the three that had been leaked to the internet and had become my favorites (America's Boy, Goodbye Girls, & I Found the F) are: Tears in the Typing Pool (with the loveliest vocals from Trish yet!) and Michael (with its incessant beat and repeating of the title name, which reminds me of all the boys named Michael I know!) This is just the most perfect thing to listen to during the Fall. New comers to the band may not find it as great as I do, but loyal fans will find another ace album from this singular band.… Expand
danb.Dec 25, 2005really good album. if you liked their older stuff, you ought to like this. if you haven't heard them, this is as good as the rest to check out.
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