Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three of four years, you’ll know that Major Lazer is a electronic side project fronted by the multi-talented DJ-come-producer Diplo, although as of late it seems as if it is his primary focus. With Diplo at the helm, I think it’s fair to say Major Lazer is a broad project, with primary influences of electronic and reggae; dancehall, EDM, dubstep, hip-hop and trap also weave itself into Major Lazer’s sound resulting in a Diplo-ized variation of moombahton.
I think it’s fair to say Major Lazer is not everyone’s cup of tea. While on the one hand you have chilled, meandering pop songs like Get Free, on the same page you have abrasive, EDM-charged floor-fillers that you can’t really appreciate casually listening to on the way to work. I find myself more accustomed to the former. Luckily, there is a fair bit of this on Peace Is The Mission, no more epitomised by not just the opener- Be Together, but also the lead single Lean On. The latter features the as-equally-abrasive DJ Snake, the ‘drop’ or what could be called a-lack-of, is notably restrained and maintains the more laid-back mantra of Peace Is The Mission.
However, this is short-lived. Track 2 and 3 retorts back to the notable near-brash EDM Major Lazer and Diplo are known for. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s just the change in direction is peculiar when found early on in the CD when it seemed another style was being tackled. While some, including myself in some occasions, find Major Lazer a bit too much, there’s no getting around what excellent rave tracks Diplo and co. craft and put out, when appreciated in the right setting. That being said, I have to say I prefer their music sans drops- the aforementioned Get Free and Be Together, the excellent Ellie Goulding-featuring Powerful, or their tracks that flirt with the idea of EDM but stray away slightly to create pop/dance hybrids- Light It Up or All My Love featuring pop princess Ariana Grande– one of the projects highlights.
I’m a big fan of Diplo and a big fan of Major Lazer. While I couldn’t sit plugged into their entire discography in one sitting, the group still put out some excellent rave songs, resulting in pretty good full projects also. Songs like Roll The Bass I can’t see myself listening to any time soon, but a plethora of tracks from Peace Is The Mission are enough to be impressed by Major Lazer’s latest project, but by no stretch of the imagination blown away.
Verdict – WWW
Like this review? To keep up to date with The West Review, head to our Twitter page.