Pitchfork Review: Labrinth/Sia/Diplo – LSD (3.2)

Pitchfork Review: Labrinth/Sia/Diplo – LSD (3.2)

Diplo, Sia, and Labrinth combine forces for an album of truly forgettable pop music that is too tired to be wired., Pop is dead; here is its corpse; here is Diplo attempting to make the corpse dance. Diplo, for whatever reason, is centered as the main attraction of Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo’s insane trio, whose initials just happen to spell out LSD. The first track on their self-titled album ends with a blaring announcer voice welcoming “people of earth, boys and girls, people of ages” to “the wonderful world of Labrinth, Sia, and Diploooooooooooo.” The vowel stretches for a solid six seconds. It’s the first of many grating miscalculations in an album conspicuously calibrated for radio play and sweaty basements. Who loves Diplo this much they’re not annoyed by this shout? Who loves Diplo so much at all?, Enough people, apparently: LSD is Spotify’s 151st most-listened-to band in the world and they have even snagged a spot on Now That’s What I Call Music! 69, a nice fact until you realize that not even LSD themselves call this music. One of their lead singles is “Audio,” a cloying tangle of onomatopoeia, booze, and droopy synths. “Make the bomb bomb beat, I’ll give you melody,” is a refrain that only gets worse as it scrapes your speakers nine times in three minutes; “We got audio,” Sia breathes as Diplo Diploes on. Audio is the only metric of success here, the only box that needs checking, and they are, at least, loud., Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo seem to only exist together for the listener to go, “Oh! Huh…” and press play. Instead of complementing each other, they cram every space of a song with noise. Labrinth, a UK singer and rapper who’s remained relatively unknown despite appearing on Nicki Minaj and Rihanna albums, oscillates between bland, soft vocals and self-important rasping. Diplo wedges thumps and loops into songs that would be better off without them, giving texture without substance. The tragedy of this odd mix is that we lose Sia. This isn’t the jagged vocals, the hidden eyes, the Sia that felt like something close to original. This is Diplo bastardizing female vocals until they’re barely distinctive, and then they just exist to fulfill the “woman crooning something in a pop song” part of the equation., LSD sound like an algorithmic midden of pop music. There are melodramatic orchestra swells. There are gaudy basslines. There’s something suspiciously close to a xylophone. Honest-to-god handclaps speckle a track. The words “da dum dum dum” are intoned. LSD’s lyrics are asinine—repetition is what they’re after, as the songs whittle down your critical receptors and blanket you in great errors of language. Some choice snippets: “I’mma be the angel to your snow,” “You put the running into run,” “We got our champagne dreams in an endless drought.”, If LSD were really trying to capitalize on popular music trends and lean into its “how do you do, fellow kids” core, their sound would be sadder. Sia would hurl some line about Xanax. Labrinth would adopt a Post Malone slur-croon. Diplo would let his synths slink instead of clunk. Pop music isn’t fun anymore, not without at least a little nuance, and it’s jarring to go from LSD’s “Today’s Top Hits” neighbors—Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, Twenty One Pilots—to inane lyrics about getting high and “love” without context or emotion., More than anything, this album is both tired and wired, like drinking Red Bull after a fifth Red Bull. Not even a Lil Wayne remix can yank it to life. He hops on gamely and recites nonsense like, “Molest you with intellectual,” and, “My love is so ambidextrous.” This is an obviously calculated album that comes across as thoughtless, a thrashing neon garble. Frat boys might enjoy chanting “ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-genius” at each other, but for everyone else just hit next on whatever playlist these songs end up on.