Major Lazer - Free The Universe

Once upon a time Diplo was cool, as was Major Lazer. Following a string of remixes for the likes of Gyptian, Hot Chip and The Prodigy, the dancehall inspired-beats combined with an ear for sounds you struggled to compute first time around, debut album Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do was truly innovative. It also went on to spawn the 'Pon De Floor'-sampling Beyonce hit 'Run The World'; in our books if Beyonce does so much as look at it, it must be amazing. Move forward to 2013 and their follow-up Free The Universe is just plain weird. Maybe Major Lazer are so far ahead of the curve that they know what we want to hear a long time before we are actually aware of it ourselves. Or it could just be a bit crap.

Annoyingly, if the latter observation is correct, Free The Universe is still addictive. Guest appearances ranging from Wyclef Jean through to Vampire Weekend make sure that the duo have their fingers in all the pies. Ms Dynamite (yes, she is still around) puts in a guest vocal to 'Sweat' which really takes things to the next level, an MIA-tinged rhyming scheme smothered in the simplest of electronic beats. It's strange, it's listenable - and equally not so. Confusingly, we can't quite make our minds up, but we seem to have been trapped in the Major Lazer web regardless of whether we wanted to be or not.



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