“Nine Types of Light” is the fifth album by a truly talented band, who recently lost long-term multi-instrumental member Gerard Smith. If you haven’t heard of TVOTR by now then it’s probably time to reassess what you use as your sources for finding new music.

The album ironically opens with “Second Song” because it doesn’t come second chronologically or in terms of quality. TVOTR haven’t mucked around here, they have moved straight into a multi-layered, multi-faceted song which have a bit of everything on it, synth, sax, effective backing “oohs” which all contribute to produce a killer song without ever over powering the sound.

“Keep your Heart” is yet another beautiful TVOTR track which continues the theme of using whatever instrument required to get the sound just right, clapping, more backing oohs or electronically produced sounds. There is no drastic changes to the classic TVOTR sound on this album and it is used to full effect on “No Future Shock”. The song builds elegantly to a climatic chorus (get your mind out of the gutter) and using the horns to great effect.

“Killer Crane” slows the pace of the album right down with a wandering vocal which grows and has too many elements that I can’t begin to describe it without disrespecting the song. Just when you think that you have heard the best of what TVOTR have to offer they drop “Will Do” in your lap with all of its balanced beauty and power. If you don’t like this song then you should consider getting your hearing checked or consider major oral replacement surgery, no its by no means excessive.

“New Cannonball Run” pulls the album in a more electro direction with a heavy synth sound, which provides a platform for a vocal exchange (duet sounds insulting) which is full of toe-tapping energy that flows into “Repetition” which I must say is really poorly named. You can call TVOTR a lot of things but not that. Ok so maybe he does repeat the word around 25 times towards the end of the song, but it works.

Listening to a TVOTR album, much like writing a review of one, requires a lot of dedicate. On both accounts I feel that the input required is well rewarded. At first listen I am constantly trying to understand the concept of their songs, but it doesn’t take long before the album and its endless energy take over your musical world. The song writing is meticulous and controlled to the point that every song feels inviting and effortless in execution. The guitars often feel secondary in the layering of the songs however they repeatedly deliver punch and timely energy.

ALBUM RATING: Contender for AOTY