Album Review: Lido, “Everything”

Lido, aka LidoLido, aka Trippy Turtle, are all the product of Peder Losnegård, a Norwegian producer and rapper. Everything is a coming together, a gathering of works old and new, forming his full length debut.

He has been steadily creating in the scene since 2011, and his sound has progressed exponentially, perhaps in part due to his longtime friendship and tutelage of fellow Norwegian producer Magnus August Høiberg, better known as Cashmere Cat, who was a great influence on Lido, progressing him past his early days.

This year has seen Lido remix Kanye West‘s entire Life Of Pablo album, as well as contributing to production on Chance the Rapper’s mixtape Coloring Book. His mainstream dabbles have been wildly successful thus far, also producing for the likes of Halsey, Banks and even our own Alison Wonderland.

The sound complexity and depth of Lido’s work has evolved greatly over the years. Having hones and refined his diverse talents, his new album is complex and intriguing.

Beginning with a breathy, chilling spoken intro, Lido lets us know that this album is his Catharsis, and this track provides us with an introduction into the soundscapes that can be experienced throughout.  Much of this album had a very different feel from his other releases (in a good way), but as this introduction progresses, that signature, loud, stop-and-start sound pattern lets us know that the Lido we’ve always known is still here too.

Second track Murder was released before the album, along with a video created by Les Vandales. It’s “a depiction of the emotional turmoil that one goes through when you’re breaking up,” said Lido. Painting a portrait with simple sounds serves the track well, and transitions between hard and soft are reminiscent of an intimate journey through emotional distress. Watch the visually stunning video below:

“I would die if you would dye your hair” is a line that unfortunately doesn’t really allow you to take Dye seriously at first, although we’ll let it slide, considering that Cashmere Cat’s feature. The moral is, of course, a metaphor for someone unwilling to change bad habits or move to a new chapter in their life. The female vocals are particularly compelling, and the thundering bass that takes us through the midsection is rather godly, but I just can’t quite bring myself to enjoy this one over and over.

That said, it’s catchy in an unconventional way, drawing comparisons to Cashmere’s recent Trust Nobody with Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez. His unique productions translate well to pop, and this song is about the closest Everything ever comes.

So Cold clocks in at just over two minutes, but it’s an absolute standout despite the short time. The track sees Lido taking is classic beat and pushing it deeper, overlaid by a twinkling melody. The words “I don’t lie yeah, I do lie,” are repeated on loop amidst a cacophony of rap verses, ice cold treble and that completely satisfying bassline.

Crazy is a bit of a resting point in the middle, giving us a moment to breathe while reflecting on preceding tracks. The vocals are pitched and mixed in a really strange way, and indeed it seems to make the listener feel a little crazy (I had a ‘is this a different song?’ moment at first). A truly beautiful, if heartbreaking listen, the forlorn break-up number uses melancholy piano to ruminate on letting go.

The juxtaposition of Lido’s outcry with the deeper “Falling Down” makes this track feel more substantial, with the childlike voices causing a chill. It precedes Citi Bike, which is a song that you definitely need an introduction to. I predict that this track will be a favourite for many, and is definitely a favourite of mine.  The variation in production and vocalisation creates a class that represents anger, and is the hardest and most enjoyable rap track on the album.  It moves from ear to ear, from high to low, a truly phenomenal track and listening experience.

It’s incredibly tough to follow Citi Bike, and Lido uses this point to quietly begin hitting the brakes. The album takes a softer turn, with jazzier balladic tracks from this point on. Only One featuring Jaden Smith is a solid follow-up, the most interesting slower song on the album. The echoed verses sound like they were recorded over the phone, and makes for almost Kaytranada-like vibes with some interesting, albeit somewhat out of place, comments on social justice mixed in with pining after lost love.

You Lost Your Keys is a quiet ballad about losing one’s way, and although it aims for emotional depth, it ultimately falls flat, feeling corny rather than heart-wrenching. Similarly, Angel starts out sounding heavenly, and the twinkling harp creates a lush atmosphere, but the overly dramatic thematic juxtaposition of heaven, hell, salvation etc. just ends up sounding silly.Although the production has interesting moments, this softer chunk of the album is its weakest link.

Tell Me How To Feel is the album’s epic finale. It recounts many of the thematic and rhythmic ideas we heard throughout the album, topped by a nonsensical vocal loop that is somehow incredibly enchanting.  This is a letting go of past loves, a perfect conclusion with its waxing and waning textures, sending us off with an emotional “what if everything’s not everything?”

Although some aspects ultimately fell flat, overall this is a stunning, well designed album, and a really impressive debut from the prolific producer and collaborator. It manages to balance that fine line between experimental and digestible, full of unique styles and surprises while staying true to the Lido we’ve come to know and love. Everything is refined, diverse, and masterfully produced, one of this year’s best within that hip-hop-electronic crossover niche.

Lido will be embarking on a short North American tour starting next month. Dates below:

November 2 | San Francisco, CA | Herbst Thater
November 4 | Seattle, WA | Washington Hall
November 7 | Vancouver, BC | Rio Theater, CANADA
November 9 | Los Angeles,  CA | Ave Theatre
November 11 | Boston, MA | Berklee Performance Center
November 12 | New York, NY | Apollo Theater
November 16 | Toronto, ON | The Great Hall, CANADA
November 18 | Chicago, IL | Lyric Opera House Grand Foyer

Image: Michael Vera Cruz