TV on the Radio
"Lover's Day," like many other TV on the Radio songs, is a masterful example of controlled chaos. For eight seconds, you think it might be a more-or-less typical indie rock soul song, what with the tambourine and the thumping bass and Tunde Adebimpe's rich vocals. But then, just as Adebimpe sings "the longing is terrible," the blast of horns (synthesized, I think) slaps you in the face like the longing itself, and the guitar (real, as far as I can tell) starts up. That guitar maintains itself pretty much through the entire song, and it's the most interesting part of the production, to me, anyway. They probably recorded it a lot louder than we hear it--it's an atonal wave of noise that they've pulled down in the mix so that it sounds as though it's behind glass. It's a sublimation of pain and longing, the type of pain and longing that "will melt our faces off."
But as the song progresses, the rest of the song follows that guitar--and while the genuine noise never makes it out of the back of the right channel, everything else in the track picks up the slack, rising to something glorious and transcendent, not so much a wall of sound as a mountain of it--unscalable, unexplainable, but absolutely beautiful.
And then in the final minute and a half, a New Orleans symphony of brass and woodwind kicks in, not so much eliminating the pink noise of the rest of the track as channeling it into something you can understand but still can't quite name.