‘Peace Is The Mission’ By Major Lazer Review: A ‘Major’ Letdown
Remember when Diplo wasn’t a caricature of himself? The Mad Decent head honcho, government name Wesley Pentz, was the early 00’s tastemaker behind M.I.A.‘s ubiquitous 2008 summer smash “Paper Planes” from her Diplo produced blockbuster debut Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1 and after the album, he went on to work with just about everyone in the industry; Chris Brown, Usher and Beyonce all count him among producers on charted singles. When he founded the Mad Decent record label, it was widely lauded for his genre-bending influences that ranged from Brazilian favela funk to Atlanta trap house hip hop.
With these credentials in mind, the second effort for Diplo and bandmates DJ Jillionaire, Walshy Fire and DJ Boaz van de Beatz under the Major Lazer nom de plume is seriously underwhelming. Called Peace Is The Mission, the album was released this week on the Mad Decent label.
Much of the album is recycled EDM tropes, appropriated to fit within whatever guests Diplo has recruited for that particular song. Major Lazer has always been a collaborative effort but less DJ Khaled style posse cuts and more original Diplo would be nice. Only one song on the album, the remarkably stale “Roll The Bass,” is without a feature credit.
There is already a huge hit on the album in “Lean On” for which Danish pop darling MØ and the man behind “Turn Down For What?,” DJ Snake. It’s already Major Lazer’s biggest hit in the states and its showing no signs of stopping with summer parties right around the corner.
The guest appearances are just decoration on a turd for the most part though. Pusha T gives a rare feature verse but King Push fails to stand out amongst the others on the glittery “Night Riders.” Clearly designed as a hip hop vehicle for rap royalty 2 Chainz and the next golden boy Travi$ Scott, Mad Cobra, a Jamaican dance hall artist is thrown into the mix purely because it wouldn’t be a Mad Decent song without at least some nonsensical reference to Jamaica.
Diplo also calls in friends Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, Machel Montano, Nyla, Chronixx, Wild Belle, Elliphant, Jovi Rockwell and Tarrus Riley. The album is a wide span of styles but ultimately it all feels just like any song you would hear at any party. Trite reggae ode to marijuana “Blaze Up The Fire” which features Chronixx is undeniably catchy and you can be sure you hear it in a club; whether you want to hear it or the rest of the album anywhere else is way more questionable.