Major Lazer | Guns Don't Kill People . . . Lazers Do

Downtown (2009)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 23, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars


Producer-centric pop music of the last decade or three has, so the argument goes, made mainstream America's airwaves more diverse by pushing an inclusive mixtape æsthetic onto the great unwashed.

So a fake-band album by Diplo and Switch, two of the more well-renowned DJ/producers around, should be gangbusters, right? (Especially when said fake-band concept is loosely based on a mixtape of a fictional Jamaican thug toaster but was actually recorded at Tuff Gong and pulls together scads of interesting guest stars.) The thing is, a few songs in, I was reminded that I hate mixtapes — or at least, I find it hard to make it all the way through them, especially when they're made by other people and especially when they're filled with weak endless dub reggae.

That said, opener "Hold the Line" (not a nod to Toto) is a migraine-inducing club banger that totally rules (at least until Madison Avenue gets hold of Santigold's awesome "make you vibrate like a Nokia" hook), and in "Keep It Goin' Louder" the synthy Nina Sky proclamation of having "girls in the truck piled six chicks deep" is a fascinating piece of imagery that gets repeated enough times to burrow a hole straight through your skull.

Related: Mixed, nuts, Diplo dishes a Major Lazer, Photos: Major Lazer, A-Trak, Matt and Kim, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
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