Some records get the critical and commercial success they deserve, some don't. In 2012, Brooklyn trio Lemonade released their second album, Diver, a radical 180 that found them rebooting their sound from spasmodic post-punk-funk to breezy ambient R&B-pop. The timing couldn't have been better, considering that Diver coincided nicely with the PBR&B rage. But it didn't take, despite the album's strong and steady collection of should-be hits.
Two years later, Lemonade have jumped from True Panther Sounds to Cascine, a label virtually tailor-made for their music. Minus Tide resumes the chilled atmosphere they crafted with Diver, but bolsters it with a deeper sense of belonging to the clubs.
Still fixated on a heavy Balearic production influence, everything feels warm and balmy: the synths on "Awake" undulate like rippling waves, the crisp rhythms on "Water Colored Visions" cascade like a strong gale, and even just the title of "Durutti Shores" sounds idyllic, but somehow they take it further with the euphoric chorus and shimmering reverb.
Sure, no one track is as arresting as Diver standout "Neptune," but Minus Tide is the more concentrated, complete and better album of the two. The only real disappointment here is that it arrives just as summer ends, because few albums have been better suited for beach life as this one. (Cascine)