Jul 17, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The debut full-length from Discovery, the long-gestating hipster R&B project from Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Wes Miles (Ra Ra Riot), is a little boring. Listeners need look no further than the cover art, an agreeable, organized grid of Ellsworth Kelly-esque pastel blocks that promise non-threatening, vaguely ironic fun.

It starts well with two engaging tracks ("Orange Shirt" and "Osaka Loop Line") that kick things off, but LP peaks way too early with "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (featuring a smashing set of guest vocals from Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian). The production and mixing are competent and sometimes impressive, but lyrically, the album suffers from a decided lack of sharp hooks. There are cute lines such as "Sleep on the train to Tokyo/Google yourself when you get home" or "Baby, baby, baby, do you know/I think about you nightly?" but most of the record is lost in familiar synths, pleasant drum machines, and auto-tune.

"Carby" (with vocals from Ezra Koenig) will gratify fans of Vampire Weekend and shows a great deal of potential if that band decides to utilize some of Discovery's sonic palette. Perhaps the soupy cover of The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" perfectly encapsulates the feeling of most of this album: milquetoast, but with the best of intentions. (


Author rating: 5/10

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August 14th 2009

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