2008 was a disappointment for rap fans. What wasn't hipster-ready sneaker-hop or dance-craze incitement was more fodder from a mainstream that flirts with artsiness, but still can't deliver us from singles. Well, beneath all that blinding marquee glare, someone was shining a light. After a seven-year hiatus, deconstructionist rap trio Restiform Bodies returned with TV Loves You Back, an album benefiting from aural ADHD, with the thematic content to match. Over a score that whips ghettotech, crunk, and Gary Numan into an erratic frenzy, rapper Passage abstractly expounds upon shopping-mall shootings, restless-leg syndrome, market crashes, and—in the album's recurring theme—impotence caused by overdosing on television. The latter is a fairly direct half-metaphor for the effects the boob tube has on ambition, but the delivery makes this record more than a summation of Western postmillennial anxieties. Passage's verses are hailstorms of cyberized imagery and sarcastic poetry, while producers Bomarr and Telephone Jim Jesus skip art-hop subtlety for beats that bang. TV Loves You Back looks forward, and the view is empowering and a little disturbing. By the record's end, on an epic called "Opulent Soul," the narrator reclaims his masculinity: "I'm in the house of fractions before twinkling Oakland / hand-fucking myself into the great wide open." Finally, a dance craze everyone already know the moves to.

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