In 2009, a band by the name of Discovery released their first and only album, "LP".
It received very little acclaim, even though popular music blogs like Pitchfork and The AV Club gave the album favorable reviews. "LP" was a quality album, but was eventually overshadowed by other larger projects (Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot) that the musicians were a part of.
In honor of the album's 10th anniversary since its release, I've decided to finally give the album a proper review.
To start this review off, something must be said about both musicians involved in the project. Rostam Batmanglij originally is from Vampire Weekend, an indie rock band with heavy East Coast prep overtones, and is often credited with the band's "stranger" sounds. Wes Miles comes from Ra Ra Riot, a more mainstream pop rock band with flashy choruses and higher pitched vocals.
The influences of the producers' main projects are extremely obvious in "LP". Songs like "Osaka Loop Line" and "Can You Discover?" are obviously Rostam's brainchildren, as they both feature strange electronic blips intermingled with cutesy vocal melodies (not to mention the trademark VW reggaeton beat in "Can You Discover?"). In comparison, Wes Miles's voice shines through in their dreamy rendition of "I Want You Back" and the bouncing melody of "Swing Tree". This album sounds like what would happen if they were allowed full creative reign on their main projects' music.
Overall, the songwriting on this album is good for a side project. I don't think that Rostam and Wes were trying to do anything super innovative with this album; rather, it sounds like a creative outlet for their poppiest songwriting tendencies. The music is reminiscent of bands like Hellogoodbye and Chairlift of the same era, with repetitive verses and poppy choruses. "Orange Shirt" sounds like what would happen if you gave your 7 year old cousin free reign at a bucket of Pixie Stix, with loud synth lines and hyperactive drums dotting your ears from all directions.
I think where the album lacks is lyrical content. The exception to this is "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", which gives insight into Rostam's complex mind and experiences as a gay man. Besides that, the repetitive "baby"s in "Can You Discover?" can give the listener a headache after more than one play, and It's Not My Fault just falls flat in it meaning.
Final Verdict: A-
While it has it's hiccups at times, Discovery's "LP" is an endearing relic of the late-2000's cute synth-pop era. Songs like "Swing Tree" and "Osaka Loop Line" will have you humming and swaying on your commute to work, enchanted by their ingenius melodies and boppy beats.
Osaka Loop Line, Can You Discover?, Swing Tree
Least Favorite Tracks
I Want You Back