Major Lazer

Peace Is the Mission

Mad Decent

Jul 22, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The musical snob in all of us really wants to reject Diplo's third Major Lazer album, Peace Is the Mission, as obvious, party fodder that panders to the lowest common denominator. But that's exactly what makes Peace Is the Mission so great. Major Lazer is Diplo's conduit to Jamaican dancehall and its cousin moombahton, both so close to his heart, to the masses. Putting major names like Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, and 2 Chainz in front of his island bangers, Diplo pairs them with native island vocalists, mixed up and spoon-fed by Diplo to a mouths-wide-open public.

"Night Riders" (featuring Travi$ Scott, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, and Mad Cobra) is a low-down sexy number that nicely combines different vocals styles from rhymes to rock 'n' roll to patois. Grande squeakily tries to hold her own against the confident rumbles of Machel Montano on the bass-heavy remix of "All My Love." In contrast, Elliphant ably goes head-to-head with the delightfully cheesy ska honks of the mistitled "Too Original" with Jovi Rockwell.

"Roll the Bass" does just that with screechy, jumpy, predictable hip-shaking electro stabs goaded by a toasting MC that tricks you into thinking you're cool enough to be at a Carribean sound system. Chronixx is possibly Diplo's best fodder with the most authentic delivery on Peace Is the Mission with "Blaze Up The Fire," while Nyla is the weakest with the throwaway pop morsel "Light It Up."

Peace Is the Mission is not all rump-shakers. The album uncharacteristically opens with a digital ballad of sorts, "Be Together," sung by Wild Belle. Diplo's collaboration with DJ Snake, "Lean On," featuring MO, is a great balance of lively and soulful. Ellie Goulding's and smooth Trinidadian Tarrus Riley's glossy duet "Powerful" is as accessible as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers "Islands In the Stream."

Not sure anything on here signifies that Peace Is the Mission, except that it is part one of two Major Lazer albums this year, the second being Music Is the Weapon. The whole thing is a little cheap, but clever, making it so much fun to be on the receiving end. (www.majorlazer.com)

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