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Lemonade – Diver May 22, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Album Reviews, Music.
Tags: ,

Artist: Lemonade

Album: Diver

Release: True Panther, 2012

Genre: Electronica

RIYD: Delorean, Air France, jj

I had the extraordinary pleasure of seeing Lemonade open for Delorean almost two years ago in Boston at what turned out to be one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Though I was familiar with some of their work off of their self-titled debut and the following Pure Moods EP, nothing could have prepared me for the raw energy the band exuded during their live performance. I didn’t recognize anything they played, but they sounded so much better than on record that I could’ve been fooled into believing it was a different band altogether. Though Lemonade are heavy synth-users, the visceral drumming is what propelled the songs in their set: the sounds were just as danceable as the poppiest of tracks on their recorded material, but the live instrumentation lent the danceability a more tribal, ritualistic feel that got every body in the venue moving.

Needless to say, I was anxious to see how the energy of these new tracks would translate from the live show to what I thought would be an imminent sophomore album. But, as I said before, almost two years have passed and we’re only now getting to hear the next chapter in the budding Brooklyn band’s discography, and it sounds almost entirely different from what I remember. Opting for a more late-night R&B sound, Diver takes Lemonade away from the rave-like qualities of that live performance and into darker, more ethereal territory.

It’s been so long since I saw them that there’s no way of knowing for sure whether or not the new material they previewed made its way into the new album in some smoother, more subdued incarnation, but certain parts of Diver evoke specific feelings from my vague memory of that evening. For example, the drumming on opener “Infinite Style”: it definitely takes lower priority in the mix, buried under the lush, syrupy production that dampens the album, but there’s no mistaking the thrill of that pummeling, relentless beat. Some tracks, such as lead single “Neptune” and “Vivid”, are entirely products of the new sound they crafted for the album, but other, more upbeat tracks such as closer “Softkiss” clearly demonstrate the same synthy goodness that made the live show so vibrant and colorful. And, best of all, it appears that touring with Delorean was a significant influence on their style, as standouts “Sinead” and “Eye Drops” incorporate their same glitched vocal effects as electronic flourishes, adding a tint of house-music warmth to the otherwise cool, watery album.

Diver may not be the euphoric dance album that I had hoped would be Lemonade’s latest and greatest, but the remarkable subtlety in which it delicately mixes that danceable energy with the R&B-infused production and damp atmosphere makes it an excellent effort nonetheless. This addition to the many different faces of Lemonade, whether it be their raucous live performances, their proggy jams on the self-titled debut, or their Sonic The Hedgehog-sampling balearic pop on the Pure Moods EP, just further stacks the evidence for their sheer talent as musicians.



1. 70dayweekend - May 23, 2012

Love Delorean – thanks for the recommendation!

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