San Francisco-based Lemonade approached their new album trying to accomplish more psychedelic electronic music that pulled from a myriad of sources, including dub step, UK grime, and the early rave punk scene. Instead they made an album filled with summer music that doesn’t put too much of a strain on the listener. Summer music leaves a pause between notes, carries a thumping beat, and sultry vocals. Lemonade brings the aired-out quality to their latest effort, only the vocals feel like a mix of 80’s R&B and contemporary electro-pop.
Diver does display borrowed elements, from EDM to electro-pop and the aforementioned R&B vocals, to produce its sound. The second track, “Neptune,” has light electronic keys, steel drum, a synthesizer solo, and the ability to induce a light sway. “Neptune” is indicative of the rest of the album, and it quickly becomes more of the same.
The lyrics, like the vocals, are cheesy with the music. Somewhere a montage exists where a man is writing letters furiously, running along a beach, and then being slid across the screen as we see the woman, who he wants to win over, pop in.
These campy elements can and do click together on “Ice Water.” The track comes with a thumping beat, which increases into a furious throb, a consistent melody from the keys, an attempt at vocal harmonies, and vocals and lyrics that are just approaching sexy. It feels the right amount of creative and new, while still carrying a familiar sound.
Here is a sampling of the lyrics from “Ice Water”:
“I feel the pressures on my mind/I get so happy, I go blind/Sometimes I forget you have to remind me/Real Life.”
Diver is filled with slow jams, not remember-your-first-dance-with-a beautiful-girl slow jams, but playing at the laundromat, awkwardly, fading into the background.
Though… Real life.
Skip the album, pick up “Ice Water” and maybe “Big Changes.”