Lemon Jelly are a mysterious instrumental duo who create sunny aural landscapes of undulating beats and warm synth swells, homespun string samples and comfortably worn woodwind accents. It’s an enigmatic yet inviting soundscape, enveloping and indulging the listener – a place to live, cocooned in gentle bliss. In this sense they could be considered, in a reductive way, as a Boards of Canada sibling who woke up on the right side of the bed.
Downtempo post-trip hop is often looked upon with condescending eyes, and for good reason. Beginning with the striking, exotic feel of early stalwarts Air, Thievery Corporation, and even Zero 7, most notable acts gentrified into a nearly adult-contempo vibe. The lowest common denominators of this sound are what I would consider “Starbucks music” – wallpaper to soothe yuppies as they drink overpriced milkshakes over a laptop. It’s only to the music connoisseur’s detriment that this fact obscures numerous incredible acts, leaving us out in the cold, unaware of the innovative treasures obscured behind the prominent bland façade of upwardly mobile coffeehouse bands.
Well enough with the negative. Time for positive: This is an uplifting album, as enthusiastic in its aim to please as a new puppy. There’s nothing abrasive or truly strange jutting out of the copacetic mix, no jarring transitions or moments where the proverbial rug is pulled from under the listener. What it lacks in moments of surprise it more than compensates with waves of agape-tinged, playfully melodic tones from the first track onward. It’s a dreamy world of laid-back grooves ensconced in cozy atmospheres. It’s an album-length getaway to the summertime destination of your choice, ready any time you are.
[cop this groovy masterpiece at cd universe (and check out their classy list of semi-related albums) or place an order at the always reliable amazon. or try to find the vinyl, as the artwork is widely considered gorgeous]