Diver, the latest release from San Francisco-born, Brooklyn-based Lemonade, is refreshingly understated. In the world of over-produced, gauzy thin pop and autotuned everything, it’s really great to hear electronic music that does the genre justice. Though Diver isn’t shockingly innovative, Lemonade’s ability to blend pop styles from the last few decades makes this album both familiar and new.
The one trap into which Diver falls with it’s understated sound is that some of the tracks aren’t as memorable as others. That being said, none of them are subpar. This is an album you can listen to from start to finish without getting the urge to skip that one song that feels out of place. That doesn’t mean that the tracks are easily confused: Lemonade takes us through slow tunes with deep sound like “Vivid,” and “Neptune” but also treat the listener to upbeat, dance-worthy numbers like “Big Changes,” “Ice Water” and “Whitecaps.” These boys utilize a variety of beats to keep the album moving—everything from measured snare beats to groovier rhythms that give a nod to trance music.
One of the very best things about Diver is the quality of the lyrics — or really, that there are quality lyrics. Too often have solid electronic songs been let down by throwing in one ambiguous, repetitive lyrics simply to step into the realm of popular music (let’s be honest: it isn’t going to get onto a pop station without at least one lyric). While the boys from Lemonade don’t try to be overly poetic, their lyrics have a good sense of rhythm and are relatable: “you pocket call me from some party/ there were so many voices in that room” (from “Neptune”). These lyrics, blended with the synths, beats and other electronic effects, help create a full, balanced sound; no element is too overpowering.
If you’re looking for a laid-back album with popular appeal and a bit more lyrical interest, Diver is it.