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August 3, 2009 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Discovery LP (XL)


Do me a favour: if you’re going to download LP by Discovery, put it on hold for a couple of months. There’s nothing of the Wellington winter in the sunshine-soaked synths of LP, and consequently, it’s best served in the summer, as a soundtrack to holiday romance, ice creams at the dairy, and balmy evenings spent outside. That’s assuming you’re not too hip for pure, unadulterated pop. When taken at face value, LP is deeply uncool: it’s all “ooh baby” and boy-meets-girl and highlighter yellow and 16-bit video games. That said, Discovery is fun to listen to in the same way that Passion Pit, Alphabeat and Vampire Weekend are fun to listen to. There’s a lot of fun to be had here if you go into it with the right attitude.

Discovery is a duo comprised of members of Vampire Weekend (surprise, surprise) and Ra Ra Riot, who have turned their hands to producing slick R&B pop, with some degree of success: the production is polished, the instruments processed to the point of being unrecognisable, and auto-tune’s involved. For better or worse, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine someone like Akon doing his thing over their beats. To reiterate: LP is intended to be just a bit of fun. The most apt description of Discovery that I’ve heard is that their songs sound like they’re by The Lonely Island, except without the humour—but before you shelve LP in favour of something with more indie cred, consider: how catchy is ‘I’m on a Boat’?

‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ (Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian guest stars) sounds like an unfortunate collaboration between Kiwi singer Aaradhna and a fifth former messing about on Garageband, and ‘It’s Not My Fault (It’s My Fault)’ and ‘Swing Tree’ are unmemorable. On the whole, though, tracks like ‘Orange Shirt’, ‘So Insane’ and ‘Can You Discover?’ are electropop at its most frivolous and entertaining. In places on the album, the vocals are reminiscent of Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, while the syncopated, fragmented beats keep things fresh. ‘Carby’ features Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koening, while the well-timed Jackson 5 cover ‘I Want You Back (In Discovery)’ boggles the mind (I think I mean this positively; ask me once it’s had time to sink in). Overall, LP has a place in any iTunes library, if you don’t expect too much, and if you let your guard down. Try it: who knows, you might like it.


About the Author ()

Elle started out at Salient reviewing music. In 2010, she wrote features and Animal of The Week, which an informal poll revealed to be 40% of Victoria students' favourite part of the magazine. Alongside Uther Dean, she was co-editor for 2011. In 2012, she is chief features writer.

Comments (1)

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  1. Karly says:

    I agree with most of your review. You didn’t mention ‘Osaka Loop Line’ though, which is one of the highlights of the album in my opinion, along with ‘So Insane’. Also, as much as I love ‘Can You Discover?’, I prefer the original from Ra Ra Riot’s album. I miss the violin/cello which doesn’t appear on LP for obvious reasons. Overall, I think it’s a great electronic/pop album, and I’ll definitely be cranking it again in the summer!

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