Lemonade | Diver

True Panther Sounds (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  May 29, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

lemonade1

Halfway through "Infinite Style," the glossy electro-pop opener from Lemonade's sophomore LP, you'll hear the faint sound of a rhythmic exhale — or possibly two sticks rubbing together. Maybe the San Francisco-Brooklyn trio were literally trying to breathe life into the track (or set it on fire), but by that point, the damage has already been already done. "Infinite Style," like much of Diver, feels stale and lifeless, built largely on flat digital rhythms and wimpy laptop synths that lack the strength to wiggle your ass. But what's most disappointing is that these guys are really talented: 2010's Pure Moods EP was a giddy, eclectic romp that blended house grooves with post-punk attitude and world-music flair. Diver is depressingly one-note, trimming back the band's scope and muscle. For some reason, Callan Clendenin sings every line in the same tiring, vacant croon, and its charm fades with each track, as does the Garageband-style production ("Ice Water" is about as tasty as . . . . ice water). There are exceptions: "Eye Drops" pitch-shifts a soulful vocal sample into a Middle Eastern haze; "Softkiss" is an undeniable highlight, raving on and on with its ricocheting snares, gurgling bass, and evaporating mescaline synth runs. For a few brief moments, a heart pulses.

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