In an age of mp3s and singles, it’s rather refreshing to see a band placing such emphasis on entire albums. It helps too, when that emphasis comes in the form of a full length feature film, and the band in question is New York’s favourite experimental rock outfit, TV on the Radio. It makes Kanye West’s 34 minute music video look like a piece of cake!
Nine Types of Light has been released to coincide with the launch of the band’s new record of the same name, and presents a visual re-imagining of the album as we move through music videos for each track, pieced together by interviews from a diverse range of New Yorkers who share their thoughts on the album’s themes of future, fame, love and dreams.
First tracks Caffeinated Consciousness and Second Song offer trippy colours and dreamy galaxies, which lead rather appropriately into the future-themed New Cannonball Blues, a cutout puppet affair, and No Future Shock, which is vintage disco hilarity. The standout though is Repetition, which invites us in with its geometric triangle goodness, and keeps us hooked for an incredibly animated futuristic pipe world— bonus points for noticing the visual pun in one of the scenes! Yet as captivating as the “dream” and “future” acts are, we were probably most blown away by the “love” videos. It was only a few weeks ago that we swooned over Will Do, but we were equally impressed by the dramatic Keep Your Heart.
Nine Types of Light was directed by the band’s lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, and while we can thank him for our favourite zombie clip, individual filmmakers took responsibility for each of the other videos you see throughout the film. It’s an album listening experience like no other, and we can honestly say that it’s one of our favourite viewing exploits of this year.