Under Review: Discovery – LP

Bringing together members of two of last year’s brightest breakout stars (vocalist Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot and keyboardist/producer Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend), LP is deceptively simple. From its minimalist cover art to the all-too obvious name it carries, Discovery‘s debut halts that simplicity as soon as the music starts. Beginning with the theme-setting “Orange Shirt,” a soulful back-and-forth that decays into Wes sampled vocals tripping over themselves, LP unfolds one trick at a time. After the equally infectious “Osaka Loop Line” comes “Can You Discover,” a re-working of Ra Ra Riot’s “Can You Tell.” Where the original was the string-driven swooning centerpiece of The Rhumb Line, “Can You Discover” warps the song with the most controversial song-making tool: Auto-Tune. Most songs featuring Auto-Tune fall in the hip-hop or R&B circles, but the use of the tool on LP is not so much trying to make up Wes’ lack of vocal abilities (fans of his proper band know that certainly isn’t the case) as much as it is another way to challenge indie pop conventions. Providing guest vocals on the album are Vampire Weekends Ezra Koenig and the Dirty ProjectorsAngel Deradoorian. The set gets a little weird, with the time-shifting “So Insane” nearly living up to its title, and an uncanny take on the Jackson 5‘s “I Want You Back.” Early listens of LP suggest that it would make a great summer pop album, but the electronics are a bit too chilly for that. At just under 30 minutes, LP is a brisk run through the fringes of modern pop, rebuilding and distilling everything thats found along the way.

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~ by E. on July 8, 2009.

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