"Maximum Balloon" by Maximum Balloon

Maximum Balloon
Maximum Balloon

Interscope Records
2010

Review

Maximum Balloon is David Andrew Sitek - member of TV On The Radio and collaborator for bands such as the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and Foals (according to the Oracle). When you listen to this solo record from the man, all of this information makes a lot of sense.

I had first heard of this mentioned by way of a Rain Machine reference. Then I peeped a few tracks off of the debut on Myspace and decided that I needed to give this a listen or two (or three or four). This is essentially a danceable TVOTR album.

The album opener "Groove Me" is like PM Dawn On Speed and works as a good indication to what the sound of the entire work is like.

I spent a lot of time talking about the return of New Wave in my review of The Drums self-titled album and I think this album is more along the lines of those New Wave songs that favor the cheesy synth/electronic sound of that era. Check out "Young Love" as an example. Still not convinced? Try "Apartment Wrestling" which may as well be a Talking Heads song if I've ever heard one. Oh wait, that's because it actually has David Bryne himself on it! Well then, there you go.

The songs that new the Nuevo New Wave are the most effective and those that are more like TV On The Radio B-Sides are less so. As a die-hard Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs fan, I loved the Karen O featuring "Communion" which to me represents the best of this sound with a driving rock-influenced yet still synthesized beat married to a catchy chorus with a bit of funk added for good measure.

It's ironic to say that an album from a TV On The Radio album falters when it sounds like TVOTR. However, these are the exceptions and not the rule.

4.200 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Groove Me (feat. Theophilus London) (03:44) 4
2. Young Love (feat. Katrina Ford) (03:28) 5
3. Absence of Light (feat. Tunde Adebimpe) (03:52) 3
4. If You Return (feat. Little Dragon) (04:24) 5
5. Shakedown (feat. Kyp Malone) (03:34) 4
6. Communion (feat. Karen o) (04:17) 5
7. Tiger (feat. Aku) (03:35) 3
8. The Lesson (feat. Holly Miranda) (04:06) 4
9. Apartment Wrestling (V's David Byrne) (03:39) 5
10. Pink Bricks (feat. Ambrosia Parsley) (03:49) 4