Friday, September 21st, 2018

LSD – Thunderclouds

Honestly this score is about on par for them, individually or together.


Tobi Tella: Of all the directions the new LSD single could’ve gone in, “electronica meets doo-wop” is not one I was expecting, but Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo somehow really made it work. Labrinth’s smooth vocals with Sia’s intermittent wails and Diplo’s non-intrusive production all blend together to make something that sounds great, and the lyrics paint a great picture of a relationship getting devoured by anxiety and mistrust. It sounds super fresh on pop radio, and in 2018 that’s all I can ass for.

Dorian Sinclair: I briefly considered removing all the consonants from this review to simulate the experience of listening to Sia’s vocals, but I decided I’d rather be a little more comprehensible than ‘Thunderclouds’ itself. But while her approach to singing may be short on decipherability, it is long on expression — I appreciate when someone is obviously taking joy in the way things sound and the ways you can stretch and distort it. The rest of the song isn’t great, but even after all these years I still find myself responding positively to the Sia Schtick, and that stops the score from dropping lower.

Ryo Miyauchi: Whimsical pop arrangements are Sia’s thing as much as towering ballads, and “Thunderclouds” sounds like classic Sia Furler in both production and vocal display. Yet this collaborative effort also reinforces the theory that her trademark remains a rather insular one that only a special few from the outside can tap into. Labrinth is competent, though his attempt at lyrical whimsy runs more like a non-sequitur paired with what his partner offers.

Alfred Soto: Well, this is marvelous: a Traveling Wilburys devoted to cross-marketing banality.

Nicholas Donohoue: For as edgy as the group name is, this is somehow sub-G rated in sound. Not a clap, a spark, or burst in site, which makes the song title off. This is a song of lies textually, but also in basically ever other way. A shame that it sounds like how two minute chewed Juicy Fruit tastes.

Thomas Inskeep: The song and arrangement are very late ’60s pop, and Labrinth does his Childish Gambino singing/rapping. Neither of those entice me, and in fact I don’t care for either — but what particularly turns me off is Sia, whose voice I can’t stomach, ever. The obvious joke they deserve: this is one bad trip.

Crystal Leww: Would choose hearing Tinie Tempah saying ‘yeah!’ on repeat 500 times over one listen of this bird noise track. I hate that we’ve allowed for EDM-pop’s least talented stars continue to thrive past its peak, now making ‘pop music’ that isn’t particularly poppy. 

Scott Mildenhall: “You turned nouns into verbs” — admirable commitment to linguistic ingenuity from a man whose most famous song made a noun of an adjective. But what are words to Labrinth and Sia? Two powerful musical communicators whose heed to intelligibility is irrelevant in the face of the emotion they can evoke. “Thunderclouds” parlays a characteristic mix: half dejection ballad, half Cockney knees-up. Whatever they’re actually saying, “Thunderclouds”, in all its frayed enervation, says quite a lot.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: In collaboration, Sia and Diplo exacerbate the problems of their recent work — interesting textures, but no real song holding it together. Labrinth is here too and he’s just fine.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Some sort of unsavory bastardization of doo-wop that relies on the overblown vocal performances of its two main stars to stave off any inherent stiffness. The result is much like the artwork associated with the supergroup: dull at best and grotesque at worst, despite all the color.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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3 Responses to “LSD – Thunderclouds”

  1. I missed blurbing this but I was pleasantly surprised by how much it reminded me of We Are Born-era Sia. Still, there’s enough extraneous stuff here to make a [6] seem generous from me.

  2. Love your blurb Scott!

  3. Cheers Joshua! Quite a range of scores here.