Words by Jade Smith
There have been so many great albums released this year, but few could compare to the masterpiece, Free the Universe. This sophomore release from the electronic dancehall group Major Lazer, was released back in April of this year. While Major Lazer was originally created by DJ/producers Diplo and Switch, the current lineup features Diplo alongside Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire. The album was released on Diplo’s record label, Mad Decent, which boasts an all-star roster of artists such as RiFF RaFF, Baauer, Dillon Francis, to name just a few. Major Lazer spent a large portion of the summer, travelling the country playing the Mad Decent Block Party, alongside other artists from their label.
This follow up to their 2009 album, ‘Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do’, effectively finds a way to meld reggae, dance, and pop together into one intense, unique album. By bringing in an incredible amount of notable artists such as Tyga, Santigold, Flux Pavilion, and Ezra Koenig, the group’s diverse music taste is showcased in their collaboration choices. While the album maintains consistent elements throughout, each song could stand alone, as an independent work of art. The album includes infectious, catchy dance hits the supergroup is known for, like “Sweat” and the infamous “Bubble Butt”, while managing to showcase melodious anthems like “Get Free” and “Reach for the Stars”. Free the Universe is so versatile, there’s truly something for everybody on this album. The album samples from a variety of genres and showcases the musical talents of the group, giving listeners a taste of the magic of their legendary live shows.
This album, in my opinion, could be considered one of the most underrated albums of the year. Seriously, if you don’t have this album in your possession, you are missing out on an intense musical experience, unparalleled by any other. Add this to your music arsenal, if you haven’t already. In February 2014, the group plans to hit the road to play on the next leg of the Mad Decent Block Party tour, which stops first in South Africa.