Lydia
Paint it Golden


4.5
superb

Review

by Blair Chopin USER (108 Reviews)
October 3rd, 2011 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Get It Right

Lydia seemed like they were destined to be a one album wonder. "Illuminate" was more than just an album it was a beautiful experience: the songs flowed together perfectly like you were reading a chapter book instead of listening to an album, the lyrics were heartfelt yet simple, the music was gorgeous yet aggressive, and every song on the album offered a unique sound or vocal that still flowed with the rest of the album. "Illuminate" was probably one of the most beautiful indie albums I have ever listened to and probably the most underrated.

After "Illuminate," Lydia seemed to chose a sound that was popular over a sound that was gorgeous, lyrics that were clich├ęs instead of lyrics that were heartfelt, making songs that sounded like a bunch of poppy singles instead of making songs that flowed beautifully together, and making EP's instead of chapter book like experiences. This EP they crafted was "Assailants," and it seemed like a pathetic end to what could have been a brilliant career. Lydia had the potential to have the sound of a brilliant combination of Radiohead, The Antlers, and Youth Lagoon, but on "Assailants" it seemed like Lydia just settled for being another run of the mill indie band. It seemed like Lydia's career was going to be defined by "potential greatness" instead of "proven greatness," and that is always one of the biggest tragedies in music.

But Lydia decided not to be satisfied with a career defined by "potential greatness," and crafted another near classic album in "Paint It Golden." "Paint It Golden" is a perfect combination of the beauty and flow of "Illuminate" with the catchiness of some of the tracks on "Assailants." While "Illuminate" was beautiful in a dark sort of cynical way, "Paint It Golden" is mesmerizing in an optimistic poppy sort of way. While "Illuminate" gave us the feeling of a chapter book with tons of footnotes, "Paint It Golden" gives us the feel of a open notebook where we can write whatever we want in it. On "Illuminate," Lydia seemed to force the uniqueness and their greatness on us with every track but on "Paint It Golden" they seem more content to find their sweet spot. And when you hear the beautiful music that this sweet spot produces you finally realize that Lydia have turned their potential greatness into proven greatness.

Lydia have a much more electric guitar and chorus driven sound on "Paint It Golden," but still manage to make an album that sounds beyond beautiful. The best thing about Lydia is they can start a song like "Hailey" with very depressing and borderline morbid lyrics but because of the warm vocals and the atmospheric sound it ends up being one of the most heartwarming and beautiful songs of the year. Lydia is essentially one of the only bands today that have a sound that can make death beautiful, that can make a two minute song in atmospheric experience, and that can make nearly every type of song flow together with the last song. The flow on this album is based off guitar riff instead of piano riffs and based of open optimism instead of chaptered darkness. But the main ingredients that made "Illuminate" so great are here: the track by track flow of the album, the beautiful sound of the album, the simple yet brilliant lyrics, and the high quality of the songs individual.

Even though the album does not have as many classic songs and breathtaking moments as "Illuminate," every song on "Paint It Golden" is solid and the album as a whole is more catchy than "Illuminate." "Hailey," is the perfect opener for the album: it has dark lyrics yet is one of the warmest songs of the year, it has a catchy chorus yet a chorus that is filled with distorted vocals, and it is desperate feel while still remaining laid back. "Dragging Your Feet In The Mud," "Eat Your Heart Out," "Get It Right," and "Best Nights" are four of the catchiest tracks of the year and they do not abandon the beauty and flow that made "Illuminate" a classic album. "Ghosts" is the most experimental song Lydia has done to date and even though it abandons most of their previously successful sounds it is still a solid song. "Birds" is a great summarization of the album as it is a gorgeous song driven by piano, electric guitar, and simply profound lyrics.

Lydia are a pretty bland and mediocre when they make themselves just another indie band like they did on "Assailants." But Lydia are at their best when they are a band of complete contradictions. "Illuminate" and "Paint It Golden" are albums of complete contradictions and are both albums that are at least superb. They are both albums that have some of the darkest lyrics yet some of the most beautiful lyrics, they are both albums were every song sounds different yet all of the songs flow together perfectly, they are both albums that would be average if they were made by any other artists but are near classics when they are made by Lydia. The only difference between the two albums is in the types of sounds and the feeling that both albums give you. "Illuminate" was dark piano driven chapter book and "Paint It Golden" is a golden painted dark yet optimistic open book. Now we just have to hope that Lydia sticks around long enough to fill this open book up with more great albums.



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user ratings (119)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
October 3rd 2011


12571 Comments


Illuminate was a 3.5 for me, so I have something to listen to! Good review btw.

Wildcatforever
October 3rd 2011


441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! I love me some Illuminate. And this.......

AlexTM510
October 3rd 2011


1401 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

So far this isn't hitting me like Illuminate but that album was a good bit of a slow grower so i'm still taking this in. good review though

have you checked out the side project The Cinema? it was released three weeks prior to this and yea it heavily borrows with the uptempo optimistic feel, just with more electro beats and pop hooks.

Wildcatforever
October 3rd 2011


441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No I'll have to check that out, thanks

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2011


1997 Comments


New Lydia, must have.

vanderb0b
October 3rd 2011


3473 Comments


Illuminate was awesome, so I'll give this a listen. Very nice review.

It's a shame that the album art is nowhere near as good as Illuminate's though - that's what originally caused me to check out the album.

Wildcatforever
October 3rd 2011


441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you. Yeah the album art is pretty unLydia but I guess its more poppy like the album.

Rev
October 3rd 2011


9428 Comments


Is Mindy White on this?

SHAKEandBAKE
October 3rd 2011


1310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Illuminate is my all-time favorite album. So far this doesn't touch it, but it's not bad. We'll see if it grows on me.

SHAKEandBAKE
October 3rd 2011


1310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review, by the way.

Waior
October 3rd 2011


11452 Comments


nice. saves me from reviewing this

good album

twlichty
October 4th 2011


3408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agreed on the points you make about Illuminate, It's such an underrated album that has to be one of the best indie albums ever.

looking forward to hearing this, though i'm bummed they lost the female vocals

foxblood
October 4th 2011


6797 Comments


whoaaaaa they released another album? i had no idea they were going to, awesome.
also this dick above me spamming is bumming me out

Wildcatforever
October 4th 2011


441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe he saw some dumbass (cough me) compare Lydia to LeBron James and wanted to sell me some shoes. Seems fair enough

Wildcatforever
October 4th 2011


441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Totally

ti0n
October 4th 2011


1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album was only recorded by 2 Members of the band. Leighton Antelman(singer/guitar) and Craig Taylor(drums).
Birds is the best song imo. Pretty excellente album.

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

foxblood
October 4th 2011


6797 Comments


ah cool the spam got deleted. yeah i thought they broke up completely, that's why i didn't know this was released. didn't know two members were still going

SHAKEandBAKE
October 5th 2011


1310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Okay it's definitely starting to grow on me. Might bump this up to a 4.

loveisamixtape
October 5th 2011


6036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm on the first song right now, and it's okay. not better than anything on illuminate.

but then again, it is only the first song.

oh shit second song just started and i already like it more

i'm excited

Digging: Free Throw - Those Days Are Gone

loveisamixtape
October 5th 2011


6036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really like Best Nights.



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