x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Discovery: LP

This one's part of a slew of synth-pop side projects from indie musicians hitting stores these days but it's far from one of the better efforts.

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Eighties-flavoured synth-pop side projects from bored indie musicians have been all the rage lately. See Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip's much applauded Neon Neon, for example, or Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamberello's The Postal Service for the ultimate homage to whimsical bygone electro-pop. Now Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Wes Miles (Ra Ra Riot) have decided it's time to dust off their 808 drum machine and deliver an album of tongue-in-cheek bass fuzz and high-pitched bleeps. Unfortunely, the unimaginatively titled LP is nothing like as good as the aforementioned side projects. It's an infuriatingly same-sounding album, with trebley drums crashing down on every one of these auto-tune-heavy songs. At times, it ventures into the realm of R&B, but not the good kind. Melodies are disjointed and it's often hard to make out that most essential of all pop needs: a chorus. There are a few fun moments, however, including an appearance from the Dirty Projectors' unmistakable Angel Deradoorian on I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. The opener, Orange Shirt, is also one of the album's more listenable songs. The album lacks the musical diversity and songwriting that both Neon Neon and The Postal Service delivered in spades. It's even much less interesting than some of the 1980s artists from which Discovery take their cues - and many of them weren't even much good in the first place.