Review Summary: RIYL: animal collective, ‘90s pop band 98 degrees, driving really fast
Can’t say I much cared for Vampire Weekend but I like my pop best served with low amounts of pomp (like snooty pomp, not JT pomp, cause JT pomp is sugar, baby), which is exactly why I like Discovery. So LP
is refreshing because it gives Rostam Batmanglija a chance to prove to me he’s not just backing up bewilderingly overhyped vapidity and Ra Ra Riot’s Wes Miles a chance to further confuse me on what the fu
ck Ra Ra Riot actually sounds like, which I've never heard, an increasingly rare treat in a Youtrigger-happy millennia. (For a while I thought they were glitch; lol.) I like his voice though, so that’s good. Also: LP
is not pompous. That’s refreshing. I mean, if you’re going to go through all the trouble of recalling early ‘90s boy bands and Jackson 5-era R&B you might as well ride the conviction.
My original review contained pictures of summer 2009, which LP
has already become the staple of; our trip to Animal Collective, the advantages of underwater cameras, conveniently posed pictures with smiles too wide. They fit as better descriptors than actually describing Discovery’s special brand of feel-good electro pop because Discovery aren’t really par for analyzing, even with the somewhat intriguing idea
of Discovery’s sound, namely that of LP
’s roots in Vampire Weekend (an atypical blog-to-riches hype story with a more mainstream bent) and the scene-building Wes Miles has made with Ra Ra Riot. But this is no-brainer stuff and even the band’s pedigree can’t distract from that. As my friends can attest, LP
is an album that moves
, flash-in-the-pan, in-the-moment hooks piled upon phat beats, all samba and soul, the kind of album you suddenly know the words to but hell, when did that happen?
Stopping to think too long about it would defeat the purpose if, well, LP
wasn’t so surprisingly genuine and carefully modulated. Discovery retain a befittingly retro sound, turning ‘50s surf pop and doo-wop through a modern electro-pop fad. Disco survives a resurgence and afro-pop isn’t completely bastardized in the duo’s brief foray into reggae. A key cameo by Dirty Projector’s Angel Deradoorian helps to highlight the pop community's newest starlet, playfully skewing gender roles while stretching her vocals in ways Bitte Orca
didn't. Beats are glitchy and pulse at different tempos to get the appropriate rise out of a lyric but never slower than “fast.” Even a timely Jackson 5 cover overcomes auto-tune adversity to deliver. Subject matter runs the gamut of loving someone, getting loved back, not loving someone so much anymore, embracing life to its fullest, la copa de la vida etc. etc. Consistently good not because it’s a one-size-fits-all reselling of one distinct style but because each idea is explored in the parameters of the track it is servicing. So dumb your 13 year old sister would love it; so smart you might too.