Published Jun 02, 2015An animated act in every sense of the word, the entity known as Major Lazer have had an interesting pathway to success. Originally a team-up between Diplo and Switch, it's become the Diplo & Friends show, guest starring Walshy Fire and Jillionaire.
The diasporic dabbling inherent to this eccentric enterprise — blending EDM elements with reggae, soca, hip-hop and world — has been consistently successful on a commercial level, and intermittently on an artistic one. The nine-track Peace is the Mission is difficult to define; at times it's fun to see a Jamaican reggae artist like Tarrus Riley get some shine (he's on "Powerful" along with Ellie Goulding), and one hopes soca marvel Machel Montano gets wider mainstream recognition alongside Ariana Grande with "All My Love." "Lean On" featuring Danish pop star MØ works as confection, and make no mistake — tracks like "Blaze Up the Fire" with Chronixx or "Light It Up" with Nyla hit hard on the dancehall tip.
But as a whole, Peace Is The Mission rings hollow. The trap vibe of "Night Riders" featuring Travi$ Scott, 2 Chainz, Pusha T and Mad Cobra already feels dated, and while the production by Diplo and crew is undoubtedly on point, the bloated "Roll The Bass" lacks heft. Peace Is The Mission is equal parts tepid and garrulous, making it hard to get an overall read on this project. Probably best to not overthink it — let it unfurl like the cartoon act it is, and just replay the tracks that make you move. (Mad Decent)