Hear This: TV On The Radio abandons instruments in search of love
In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, we’re talking about songs with a cappella interludes.
TV On The Radio, “Ambulance” (2004)
On its debut album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, TV On The Radio yanked shapeless noise from the basements of Brooklyn and catapulted it towards the cosmos. It’s a loud blast of art-rock and cerebral funk delivered in a shape similar to the charming, precocious six-string indie songs bubbling up toward the mainstream in 2004. TV On The Radio established its distinctive edge and adventurous pop voice early on, and part of it was due to making a racket: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes opens with “The Wrong Way,” an examination of black life in America, stoked by waves of distortion and blaring, slightly discordant horns.
But the most striking track on the whole album happens to …