Photo Credit: Press/Juco
LSD is an electro pop supergroup comprised of Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo. Hailing from Britain, Australia, and America respectively, this eclectic group of musicians has taken over the electronic scene with high expectations and an already established fan base. Releasing hits throughout 2018, Diplo and company built momentum, dropping several singles and music videos. On April 12th of 2019, LSD released their long awaited debut album, Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present…LSD.
The album features the vocals of Labrinth and Sia, with Diplo melding the tracks on the production side of the supergroup. The first track, “Welcome to the Wonderful World of”, is an enticing and beckoning intro, a Sgt. Pepper’s-like romp through a colorful and vibrant soundscape with a guitar wailing in the atmosphere. The album truly gets going with “Angel in Your Eyes”. The production value is interesting and soothing, yet the track lacks the spontaneity necessary this late in the game for electronic music. There is nothing original in the sampling method and the lackluster lyrical content.
The first released single from LSD from the album, “Genius” picks up the pace, featuring Sia’s longing vocals and a catchy, woozy chorus. There is no doubt that the commercial success of the album relies on Diplo’s production insight, yet the compositions of the songs are predictable and dated. The tracks don’t seem to have anything more than their surface appeal and aesthetic, nothing to keep the mind stimulated and energized.
The album keeps its tonal center with “Audio”, capitalizing on Sia’s vocal prowess. The sampling is in full effect with high hats scatting and yet, nothing truly engaging in the mix. The lyrics tiredly affecting, “We can’t live without the rhythm”. As far as mainstream is concerned, these tracks deliver, but the listener would like to hear inspiration as well, not just a decent instrumental.
Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present…LSD continues with “Thunderclouds”, a doo-wop inspired tune, refreshing and finally a breath of intrigue. The track builds interest, resting on the shoulders of its singers but it ends too soon to feel any sort of release. “Mountains”, carries on with the vibe, yet the hooks seem overplayed and extremely underwhelming in its placement. Once again, the track production value may be the album’s only saving grace.
The single, “No New Friends”, keeps the album in its determined trajectory, lacking in any effort to surprise. The “La, la’s”, are no help to an already outdated compositional approach. “Heaven Can Wait” and “It’s Time” stay true to the feel of the album. With a turn for the better, “Genius” is remixed, featuring Lil Wayne, a tasteful way to instill in the listener that the album was actually worth listening to and should be revisited.
Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present…LSD leaves the impression of a voyage, without any sense of exploration…a bad aftertaste for an album and band touted to represent the drug LSD. Although there are reasons to avoid this album, the main take away is that electronic music still has artists trying to push the envelope. Even if they fall short, the music remains inherently listenable, even if predictable.