Review : Major Lazer - Lazerproof
PitchforkMajor Lazer principals Diplo and Switch cooked up the idea for their Lazerproof mixtape while in Jamaica working on their next album. Almost as if it were a challenge, the two decided to make a throwback synth-pop artist the centerpiece of their mix while knee-deep in reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop. Enter UK duo La Roux, who make catchy, demonstrative synth-pop that's nonetheless brittle, stiff, and exceedingly pale.
Lazerproof takes instrumental and vocal tracks from La Roux's heavily 80s-indebted album and brazenly mashes them up with beats and rhymes that are almost wholly up-to-the-minute hip, encompassing rap, R&B, dancehall, and dubstep. Surprisingly, it often works, thanks to singer Elly Jackson. She's a dramatic, expressive vocalist, and it seems likely the real reason Major Lazer thought a mindmeld with La Roux sounded like a good idea was beause Diplo and Switch knew her voice could still sound great even outside synth-pop strictures. The blend of La Roux's "Fascination" with "Keep It Goin' Louder", a standout from Major Lazer's own 2009 debut, Guns Don't Kill People-- Lazers Do, is a seamless success, as is the recasting of formerly plinky "Quicksand" as a slice of squelchy, steel drum-blessed dance bliss.
At its best, Major Lazer's reimagining lends pathos to La Roux, a quality the synth-poppers were only sporadically interested in conveying on their own album. The mixtape-opening "Bulletproof (Nacey Remix)" boldly takes La Roux's best song and turns it into something stark and haunting, full of strings and portentous piano chords. Likewise, the succeeding track powerfully weds Jackson's turn on La Roux's "Colourless Colour" to the delicate shuffle of Ken Boothe's classic ska heart-tugger, "Artibella". This formula nets further rewards on the tape's blendings of "As If By Magic" with Demarco's melancholic "Fallen Soldiers," and "Growing Pains" with Drake's "Houstonatlantavegas"....full text
StereogumMajor Lazer (AKA DJs Switch and Diplo) and La Roux’s Elly Jackson teamed up in Jamaica for the Lazerproof mixtape, available as a free download from Mad Decent today. The name comes from Major Lazer plus the name of La Roux’s biggest hit to date, “Bullet Proof,” (so you can expect a mix of Lazer’s Jamaican sounds and Jackson’s electropop leanings). I say “expect” because it’s hard to get a full download of this thing, maybe because of its mass appeal. Guest stars include Drake, Gucci Mane, and Amanda Blank, so naturally Mad Decent’s gone offline under the strain (we’ve got a reposted link). Grab it here. UPDATE: Whoops that went down to. But this link will never go down! We think!
01 “Bulletproof” (Nacey Remix ft. Matt Hemerlein)
02 “Colourless Artibella”
03 “I’m Not Your Lemonade” + “Heroes ‘N’ Villains Remix” ft. Gucci Mane
04 “Independent Kill” ft. Candi Redd
05 “Keep It Fascinating”
06 “Magic (Falling Soldiers Dub)”
07 “In 4 The Kill Pon De Skream” ft. Drake
08 “Houstatlantavegas Pains”
09 “Tigerlily (DYWHAP Blend)” ft. Rusko
10 “Can’t Stop Now (Armor Love Remix)”
11 “Quicksand (Mad Decent 2010 Rerub)” ft. Amanda Blank
12 “Cover My Eyes (Costra Nostra Edit)”
13 “I Said It (Major Lazer Dubplate)” ft. Opal
14 “Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate)” ft. Gyptian...full text
TruetosoundMad Decent finally came through with the long awaited collaboration mixtape between La Roux and Major Lazer this morning. I heard about them working together in Jamaica earlier this year and literally thought ‘is this really gonna work?!’ Well judge for yourselves. Peep the tracklisting below and cop yourself a taster with their remix of Drizzys ‘Houstatlantavegas.’...full text
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