Major Lazer - Free The Universe - 2013


MAJOR LAZERFree The Universe

01. You’re No Good [ft. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim & Yasmin]
02. Jet Blue Jet [ft. Leftside, GTA, Razz & Biggy]
03. Get Free [ft. Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors]
04. Jah No Partial [ft. Flux Pavilion]
05. Wind Up [ft. Elephant Man & Opal]
06. Scare Me [ft. Peaches & Timberlee]
07. Jessica [ft. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend]
08. Watch Out for This (Bumaye) [ft. Busy Signal & Flexican]
09. Keep Cool [ft. Shaggy & Wynter Gordon]
10. Sweat [ft. Laidback Luke & Ms. Dynamite]
11. Reach for the Stars [ft. Wyclef Jean]
12. Bubble Butt [ft. Bruno Mars, Tyga & Mystic]
13. Mashup the Dance [ft. the Partysquad & Ward 21]
14. Playground [ft. Bugle & Arama]


It was almost about to become something like a never ending story but here it finally is – Free The Universe, the sophomore album by MAJOR LAZER or as you might like to call it also: “The personal playground of Thomas Wesley Pentz.” And since he’s better known under his alias DIPLO it is pretty sure what we can expect here. A treasure chest, an epic outburst, a destruction of genre limitations. This is an electronic endorphin injection that will shake your ass, brain and foundations. Well, probably in that order.

The follow-up to 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People … Lazers Do almost looked like it never happened. First of it  SWITCH, 50 percent of MAJOR LAZER, left in late 2011, leaving the band up to DIPLO. After several delays, label changes, single releases and probably due to the tight schedule of the mastermind, it looked like this might never happen at all. But here it is and it’s far from disappointing. It’s like a melting pot of everything. It feels like DIPLO went nuts in a creative way as MAJOR LAZER seems to give him the freedom to do whatever the hell he wants. Dancehall, Electronica, Hip Hop, Reggae, Pop, Worldmusic – everything comes together under one mission – Free The Universe. The whole longplayer is overloaded with musical guests that helped creating this unique record.

And it doesn’t matter if they are producers, MC’s or singers. There are far too many to mention – we got PEACHES, VAMPIRE WEEKEND frontman Ezra Koenig, BRUNO MARS, SANTIGOLD or even SHAGGY. DIPLO destroys the boundaries of mainstream, indie and underground as well as the musical differences between these acts. Dutch trance producer LAIDBACK LUKE and UK r’n’b singer MS DYNAMITE on one track? Yes, this actually happens.

While You’re No Good stars the record like a dark, rolling machine, the following Jet Blue Jet switches into power mode. Hands go up, booties go down. Or at least something like this. There is groove within each and every song – even if the track is a bit slowed down like Get Free, a tender reggae pop collaboration with DIRTY PROJECTORS singer Amber Coffman. DIPLO finds the right voices and producing buddies for the right sounds. Such an instant hit like the floorfilling Jah No Partal – a collaboration with FLUX PAVILION – works like the perfect fusion of reggae and typical American mainstream EDM. A bit like a contemporary update of THE PRODIGY‘s legendary Out Of Space. But just as the rest of the album it works.

MAJOR LAZER are celebrating the culture clash. They doesn’t give a damn on restrictions and they are not taking themselves too seriously. I mean how else could PEACHES get away with a lyric like “I feel your wicki leak” in the synthiepop-like Scare Me or BRUNO MARS singing about a Bubble Butt? There might be a lack of coherence within this album but for some unnatural reason this sort-of compilation works. Free The Universe is life-embracing, full of ideas, groove, creativity and the pure joy of making music. A wild proof that it is possible to create interesting and temporary modern pop music. We don’t know if it was the intention of Mr. Pentz. He might just be a big kid and this is his playground – but we’re very happy to be invited to this ride.