Lemon Jelly

Lost Horizons (Beggars XL)

Lemon Jelly is onto something. It has transformed the cold, sterile, repetitive nature of electronic music into comforting, infectious, cotton-candy-flavored jams. Let's call it slap-happy hip-hop, shall we? The duo's second full-length serves up eight tracks of quirky kitsch and melodic daydreaminess balanced out with an abundance of samples. "Space Walk" loops the ecstatic voice of an astronaut relaying a message to mission control ("It's beautiful, it's beautiful") over lush guitars. "Ramblin' Man" cuts and pastes a wearied traveler's list of forgotten destinations together with an ambient beat. And if you think you're too old to squeal like a schoolgirl, try to suppress a grin during the Sesame Street anthem "Nice Weather For Ducks." "All the ducks are swimming in the water!" is repeated in nursery-rhyme fashion until the song builds and breaks into a Latin salsa explosion. All that's missing is Gordon and Maria to help you count to ten. It's an exhilaratingly guilty pleasure akin to jumping in one of those bounce houses filled with kittens and marshmallows. But then "Experiment Number Six" rolls up like a pedophile with puppies for sale. A trippy, downtempo beat accompanies a doctor's narrative of a human subject given a lethal injection and observed until his vital signs are gone. Hey, artistic expression is one thing, but spoiling a slap-happy hip-hop party is another! The closer, "The Curse of Ka'zar," redeems the album's sinister slip with a seductive cacophony of rhythmic beats.

While lazy people will call this music "chill-out," Lost Horizonspulls from the sample-glutted catalog of the Avalanches and the nostalgic and relaxed swagger of Air. It won't put you to sleep or trance you out, man; in fact, you may just want to run through a sprinkler with your dog. Lemon Jelly just wants you to put on a happy face, bend over, and brace for an injection of liquid sunshine.

 
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