Review - Major Lazer - Free The Universe
Literally everything that Diplo does is out there, unique, and forces you to fucking jam to it (in whatever form he was going for). Whether it be his producing for other artists (recently Usher’s “Climax” or Justin Bieber’s “Thought Of You”, Beyonce’s “End of Time” or even M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” which is probably his big breakout) or his own stellar creations, he can honestly do no wrong.
Major Lazer is Diplo’s side project, as his main bread and butter is made from working with some of the biggest names in music (no sympathy to be found here). ML used to be a partnership with fellow producer Switch, but in recent months it has become just Diplo…under a different moniker. No matter – the music is just as stunning. When you look at Diplo’s tour schedule, the amount of music he creates for others, remixes, etc., it is a wonder he even has time for anything else – let alone an entire album (even if it took a few years to come to final fruition).
‘Free The Universe’ is only Major Lazer’s second album, and those who heard the first one have been waiting for yearsss for this. Thankfully, nothing has changed, while at the same time the album has grown in name and scope. Confusing, I know. Everything Major Lazer is a bit confusing.
Major Lazer allows Diplo to play with his love of reggae, dancehall and all things Jamaica – things that might not yet have a space in the mainstream (not at least since the heyday of Shaggy and Sean Paul – the former makes an appearance on ‘Free The Universe’, by the way). While the album is an electro/dubstep affair, the Jamaican feel sits front row. Not only do various artists representing the island and sound make cameos – Busy Signal, Wyclef Jean and Vybz Kartel – but he pushes other artists to work in the genre, even if they never have before.
The album’s power to make you rage is impressive, even for Diplo. Major Lazer is a place where he can create music without fear of charting and sales. In doing so, he is actually making beats and putting together previously unheard concoctions of sounds that the most famous will be grasping for years from now. ‘Free The Universe’ is simultaneously ahead of its time and available for the party tonight.
Listen to: everything, especially “Jah No Partial (ft. Flux Pavilion and Johnny Osbourne)”, “Wind Up (ft. Elephant Man, Opal & Chippy Nonstop)”, “Watch Out For This (Bumaye) (ft. Busy Signal, The Flexican and FS Green)”, and “Sweat (ft. Laidback Luke and Ms. Dynamite)”