Lemon Jelly Lost Horizons

Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen have a really beautiful thing going here. The duo, better known as Lemon Jelly, seem to have created this glorious image for themselves by hiding their identity through illustrated characters and allowing their music to speak for itself. A warm, optimistic vibe has become a signature sound for the UK pair. Lemon Jelly's previous EP releases were a stunning combination of feel-good audio snippets laced with a wide range of musical instruments from horns to folk guitars. The trend continues on Lost Horizons, a much-anticipated release that delivers more sensational and blissful beats that will surely pick you up when down. From the opening cut, "Elements," we're greeted with that trademark build-up that Lemon Jelly have been known for - first with the slow organ tinkering that are greeted with an English narrative that explodes into a kaleidoscope of sound and feeling. The duo then slip into their lead single, "Space Walk," which is just that: a trip on the moon. Astronaut samples are whisked away with layers of acoustic guitar loops and a lush choir that makes you feel like you're experiencing a moon landing of your own. Then the pair bust out the signature "children's song" that has wound up in past efforts. This time around we have the chorus of "all the ducks are swimming in the water" greeted by an intense fury of beats and instrumentation. Though not as superb as "A Tune for Jack" from The Bath EP, this is still a highly amusing number along the same lines as Mr. Scruff. Lost Horizons really tends to shine when Lemon Jelly get a little darker and haunting with their choice of samples. Such tones can be found amongst the majestic strings and chant that surrounds "Experiment Number Six" and the jazz loops, swooning songstress, and hip-hop beats that makes the closing track, "The Curse of Ka'Zar," the most rewarding listen on the album. Another gorgeous effort from Lemon Jelly and of course, as expected, it's all wrapped in a package that will make your other CDs melt with envy. (XL)