Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Major Lazer

  • Guns Don't Kill People . . . Lazers Do [Downtown, 2009] ***
  • Free the Universe [Secretly Canadian, 2013] **
  • Peace Is the Mission [Mad Decent, 2015] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Guns Don't Kill People . . . Lazers Do [Downtown, 2009]
Diplo and Switch attach an artist name to a mixtape--which includes obvious stuff for pop pushovers like me! ("I'll Make You," "Mary Jane," "Baby"). ***

Free the Universe [Secretly Canadian, 2013]
Accused dancehall will.i.am wannabe Diplo proves unequal to that worthy quest ("Get Free," "Scare Me") **

Peace Is the Mission [Mad Decent, 2015]
It's simple enough. Those who think JA dancehall remains unjustly neglected 35 years after Yellowman made slackness irie will tell you this so-called band has betrayed its conceptual mission. Those personally offended by industrial-grade EDM, the gaggle of pop divas, or that dick Diplo will blame this record for purveying any or all of the three. Me, I'm a picker and chooser, hence grateful that said dick gave me a reason to enjoy Ellie Goulding and Ariana Grande, because good Lord I've tried, and to get closer to enterprising Jamaican-American Nyla and especially indie-pop strivers Wild Belle, whose hummed, crooned, and ultimately keened opener provides the perfect warmup for the harder stuff. As in today's punk, slackness does tend more irie with women up front. B+