mon 24/06/2019

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

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters