thu 23/05/2024

CD: LSD - Labrinth, Sia, Diplo Present | reviews, news & interviews

CD: LSD - Labrinth, Sia, Diplo Present...

CD: LSD - Labrinth, Sia, Diplo Present...

Team up of megabucks singer-songwriters and producer gels impressively

Pop's biggest crossover event this year

Impressively, this collaboration of three of pop's hardest grafters feels like a real group endeavour.

Certainly, the multi-quintillion-selling Australian songwriter Sia's piercing tones and melodic style are the most recognisable thing here, but they weave around Hackney-raised Simon Cowell protege Labrinth's more understated voice and globally ubiquitous DJ/producer Diplo's military-grade Latin / dancehall / hip hop derived beats to create impressive coherence. 

It's not the trip-out the group name might suggest, but it's certainly got its share of odd twists, dizzying quick shifts and narcotic noises. Thankfully, though, that's not in the over-dense sense of so much modern EDM – which Diplo has produced his fair share of in the past – but manifests in subliminal frills and curlicues and patterns that weave through the deceptively complex song structures. The way glassy synthetic sounds, freaky processed voices and swelling string sounds flow in and out of one another in “Audio”, for example, really rewards close listening to what's going on behind the catchy toplines.

Sometimes it gets too blaring and obvious (the chant-along bits of “No New Friends” are a bit much), sometimes a little mawkish (though Labrinth's voice is capable of soaring, the Chris-Martin-choking-back-tears tone he sometimes slips into is an acquired taste), but between those poles magic happens. As well as brilliant singles “Genius”, “Thunderclouds” and “Mountains” there's at least one other classic here on the deliriously bombastic “Heaven can Wait”. All told, it certainly opens up the intriguing possibility of how they could further subvert pop orthodoxies if they carry on this project.

The way glassy synthetic sounds, freaky processed voices and swelling string sounds flow in and out of one another really rewards close listening


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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