Restiform Bodies, TV Loves You Back  
Restiform Bodies
TV Loves You Back
CHEAPO  
USA 1xLP 
Label: Anticon
Release Year: 2008
Style: Hip-Hop & R'n'B
 
  Tracks  
  1. Black Friday
2. Foul
3. A Pimp-Like God
4. Panic Shopper
5. Consumer Culture Wave
6. Bobby Trendy Addendum
7. Pick It Up, Drop It
8. Interactive Halloween Bear
9. Opulent Soul
10. Ameriscan
 
  The three-headed post-mod monster called Restiform Bodies is whole once again, dropping their official Anticon debut like a sack of analog televisions onto the fractured landscape of modern urban forms. TV Loves You Back is a dark and dense, art-twisted, New Wave-inflected hip-pop marvel. Strains of ghettotech, crunk, and hyphy twirp and twirl with Eno-like atmospherics and buoyant bass swells, while rapper/songbird Passage warps his vocals over blistering synth. Likewise, the lyrics gallop at a ferocious clip. Like electron shots from a cathode-ray tube, they form a deliciously sardonic image of modern living, and break down into constituents that are metaphysically hopeful, socially relevant, poetic, and playful.

Fittingly, opener "Black Friday" begins with 30 seconds of ominous Top 40 rap bluster (crowd cheers and wonky, reverbed "uhhs"), forcing the Restiform tongue through its cheek before traversing burbling synth bounce, doubletime drum 'n' bass, and free-floating atmosphere. Passage forges the vocals to match--laidback rap, unlikely falsettos, rapid-fire couplets, a chorus of bent melodies--while tempering his words into a poignant evocation of the mind of a mall shooter hitting his prime.

Our narrator is in top form, next styling over the wamping, squirrelly club beat of "Foul," then navigating the chopped white noise and guitar of "A Pimp-Like God." On the six-minute-long climax, "Opulent Soul," Passage burns through a Gary Numan-esque laissez-faire croon, cocksure rhymes, and a distorted Knife-like nastiness while the music intensifies like a thunderstorm of seething digitalia. He crescendos with a 32-bar rap rife with quips and affecting observations, and by song's end, our hero reclaims his humanity from the bottom of circuit pile.

TV Loves You Back comes to a quiet close with "Ameriscan," a bittersweet lullaby about cancer recognition technology, an ending only Restiform Bodies could pull off. Perfectly apropos for an album so focused on the comforts that bring chaos into our daily lives.
 
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