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Dance - Released October 23, 2020 | Mad Decent

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Back for a fourth round of island-blasted fun, Diplo, Walshy Fire, and new member Ape Drums deliver the tightest and most accessible offering from the Major Lazer project with the excellent Music Is the Weapon. Unsurprisingly, this set is designed to get bodies moving and it never lags in that regard. As with past Lazer efforts, Music is a star-studded affair that crosses borders and genres with an inspired cast of contributors from the worlds of pop, rap, R&B, dancehall, reggaeton, Bollywood, and Afro-beat. Traversing the globe, Major Lazer recruits North American singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, who soften their respective tracks with smooth vocals, providing comforting breaks from all the hip-shaking, which makes up the bulk of the album. Meanwhile, British folkster Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons makes a surprisingly appropriate appearance on the uplifting anthem "Lay Your Head on Me," which became the breakout radio crossover hit of the album. Indian singer/songwriter Rashmeet Kaur injects South Asian flair to the addictive "Jadi Buti," which hits just as hard as DJ Snake's own Bollywood-bass fusion anthem "Magenta Riddim." Later, rappers French Montana and Nicki Minaj drop verses on two standout tracks: first, Montana joins BEAM on the DJ Snake-esque thumper "Bam Bam," then Minaj pops up on all-star melee "Oh My Gawd," which shakes the floor with Nigerian artists Mr Eazi and K4mo. Busy Signal, Skip Marley, and J Balvin also service pulse-pounding moments that put the body in a trance, building the set to a dizzying frenzy on the Grammy-nominated "Rave de Favela" with MC Lan, BEAM, and Brazilian pop diva Anitta. At a compact 12 tracks, Music Is the Weapon provides just enough inspiration to get the party started, but it is so good that -- if left on repeat -- it would be enough to fuel an entire night of hedonism. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Dance - Released October 23, 2020 | Mad Decent

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Back for a fourth round of island-blasted fun, Diplo, Walshy Fire, and new member Ape Drums deliver the tightest and most accessible offering from the Major Lazer project with the excellent Music Is the Weapon. Unsurprisingly, this set is designed to get bodies moving and it never lags in that regard. As with past Lazer efforts, Music is a star-studded affair that crosses borders and genres with an inspired cast of contributors from the worlds of pop, rap, R&B, dancehall, reggaeton, Bollywood, and Afro-beat. Traversing the globe, Major Lazer recruits North American singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, who soften their respective tracks with smooth vocals, providing comforting breaks from all the hip-shaking, which makes up the bulk of the album. Meanwhile, British folkster Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons makes a surprisingly appropriate appearance on the uplifting anthem "Lay Your Head on Me," which became the breakout radio crossover hit of the album. Indian singer/songwriter Rashmeet Kaur injects South Asian flair to the addictive "Jadi Buti," which hits just as hard as DJ Snake's own Bollywood-bass fusion anthem "Magenta Riddim." Later, rappers French Montana and Nicki Minaj drop verses on two standout tracks: first, Montana joins BEAM on the DJ Snake-esque thumper "Bam Bam," then Minaj pops up on all-star melee "Oh My Gawd," which shakes the floor with Nigerian artists Mr Eazi and K4mo. Busy Signal, Skip Marley, and J Balvin also service pulse-pounding moments that put the body in a trance, building the set to a dizzying frenzy on the Grammy-nominated "Rave de Favela" with MC Lan, BEAM, and Brazilian pop diva Anitta. At a compact 12 tracks, Music Is the Weapon provides just enough inspiration to get the party started, but it is so good that -- if left on repeat -- it would be enough to fuel an entire night of hedonism. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 19, 2018 | Third Pardee Records

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Electronic - Released June 1, 2015 | Third Pardee Records

Launched as an electro-dancehall act fronted by a fictional Jamaican comic book character who comes from outer space, no one should have expected that Diplo's Major Lazer project could grow and expand artistically. Still, this third album surprises with its weight and, more than anything, subtlety as three of the best numbers are ballads. Best of these slow burners is the big hit "Lean On," where vocalist MØ and guest producer DJ Snake help deliver the sentimental lyrics and sensual house music at an intoxicating half-speed tempo. The cooled opener "Be Together" with Wild Belle feels like Macy Gray stole one of Sia's better songs and it somehow ended up here, and then there's the closing "All My Love" with Ariana Grande and Machel Montano, which raises the temperature a bit, but the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack cut appears here in a beat-dropping remix that could sneak onto any Jennifer Lopez album it chooses. Diplo should also get some kind of collaborative genius award for pairing Ellie Goulding with reggae's current cool ruler Tarrus Riley on the uplifting and aptly titled "Powerful." This chilled quadrilogy is surrounded by the usual bass, beats, and bonkers attitude, like the mighty "Roll the Bass," which offers EDM, moombahton, and trap in one herky-jerky package. Reggae tracks "Too Original" with Elliphant and Jovi Rockwell plus "Blaze Up the Fire" with Chronixx help pull the album back toward Major Lazer's original concept, and if nine tracks seems a little too short, these are all tracks that are worth revisiting. Consider it the slow and softer Major Lazer album that's built for headphone listening, but most of all, consider it. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Electronic - Released May 21, 2012 | Major Lazer Records

Electronic - Released June 1, 2015 | Third Pardee Records

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Launched as an electro-dancehall act fronted by a fictional Jamaican comic book character who comes from outer space, no one should have expected that Diplo's Major Lazer project could grow and expand artistically. Still, this third album surprises with its weight and, more than anything, subtlety as three of the best numbers are ballads. Best of these slow burners is the big hit "Lean On," where vocalist MØ and guest producer DJ Snake help deliver the sentimental lyrics and sensual house music at an intoxicating half-speed tempo. The cooled opener "Be Together" with Wild Belle feels like Macy Gray stole one of Sia's better songs and it somehow ended up here, and then there's the closing "All My Love" with Ariana Grande and Machel Montano, which raises the temperature a bit, but the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack cut appears here in a beat-dropping remix that could sneak onto any Jennifer Lopez album it chooses. Diplo should also get some kind of collaborative genius award for pairing Ellie Goulding with reggae's current cool ruler Tarrus Riley on the uplifting and aptly titled "Powerful." This chilled quadrilogy is surrounded by the usual bass, beats, and bonkers attitude, like the mighty "Roll the Bass," which offers EDM, moombahton, and trap in one herky-jerky package. Reggae tracks "Too Original" with Elliphant and Jovi Rockwell plus "Blaze Up the Fire" with Chronixx help pull the album back toward Major Lazer's original concept, and if nine tracks seems a little too short, these are all tracks that are worth revisiting. Consider it the slow and softer Major Lazer album that's built for headphone listening, but most of all, consider it. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Dance - Released July 2, 2021 | Mad Decent

Back for a fourth round of island-blasted fun, Diplo, Walshy Fire, and new member Ape Drums deliver the tightest and most accessible offering from the Major Lazer project with the excellent Music Is the Weapon. Unsurprisingly, this set is designed to get bodies moving and it never lags in that regard. As with past Lazer efforts, Music is a star-studded affair that crosses borders and genres with an inspired cast of contributors from the worlds of pop, rap, R&B, dancehall, reggaeton, Bollywood, and Afro-beat. Traversing the globe, Major Lazer recruits North American singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, who soften their respective tracks with smooth vocals, providing comforting breaks from all the hip-shaking, which makes up the bulk of the album. Meanwhile, British folkster Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons makes a surprisingly appropriate appearance on the uplifting anthem "Lay Your Head on Me," which became the breakout radio crossover hit of the album. Indian singer/songwriter Rashmeet Kaur injects South Asian flair to the addictive "Jadi Buti," which hits just as hard as DJ Snake's own Bollywood-bass fusion anthem "Magenta Riddim." Later, rappers French Montana and Nicki Minaj drop verses on two standout tracks: first, Montana joins BEAM on the DJ Snake-esque thumper "Bam Bam," then Minaj pops up on all-star melee "Oh My Gawd," which shakes the floor with Nigerian artists Mr Eazi and K4mo. Busy Signal, Skip Marley, and J Balvin also service pulse-pounding moments that put the body in a trance, building the set to a dizzying frenzy on the Grammy-nominated "Rave de Favela" with MC Lan, BEAM, and Brazilian pop diva Anitta. At a compact 12 tracks, Music Is the Weapon provides just enough inspiration to get the party started, but it is so good that -- if left on repeat -- it would be enough to fuel an entire night of hedonism. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Electronic - Released April 15, 2013 | Major Lazer Records

Booklet
His co-conspirator Switch may have moved on, but with producer Diplo's bag of tricks and his hipper-than-hip selection of guests (including major help from producers Jillionaire and Walshy Fire), the Major Lazer mythos -- he's a DJ by night and a Jamaican zombie killer by other nights -- is alive and twitching on this sophomore release. This welcome return begins deceptively with the slow-burning kiss-off "You're No Good" starting the show, but the combination of marquee vocalists Santigold and Vybz Kartel couldn't illustrate the left-field-dance-meets-Jamaican-dancehall style of the project any better. Once the credits roll on the cinematic track, it's straight-up bonkers time with "Jet Blue Jet," a bleeping, furious, trap music cut where dancehall don Leftside leads the pack and offers a Baauer-challenging version of the "Kingston Shake." Since naughty ragga lady Lady Saw didn't show up, Peaches and Timberlee face off on "Scare Me," a punany power meets synth pop cut with some amazing video game chase scene music providing the bridge. Power puncher "Wind Up" is raw enough to be a hit back home for Elephant Man, the great "Watch Out for This (Bumaye)" finds Busy Signal macking over moombahton beats with a fantastic air horn and disco break in the middle, and fat track "Bubble Butt" is like Bruno Mars, Tyga, and Mystic formed the Ying Yang Triplets just to prove that crunk ain't dead. Those who blew their minds and/or speakers pumping the project's 2009 debut will find it familiar ground, but how Free the Universe arguably tops Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do is with the meatier, more subdued cuts, as Dirty Projectors vocalist Amber Coffman explores the connections between King Tubby and Alicia Keys with the elegant R&B dub of "Get Free." Later it's the imagining of Vampire Weekend holding a session at Kingston's classic Studio One as VW's Ezra Koenig's croons over the scratchy reggae groove of "Jessica," and while the Flux Pavilion feature "Jah No Partial" has the bass drops to get the mall kids rolling, it's still a weighty, soul-filling number that could have easily fallen off a Damian Marley album. All that, and there are still great performances from Wyclef, Shaggy, and Laidback Luke to go, so think of Free the Universe as Major Lazer's second great modern ragga meltdown. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Dance - Released September 11, 2019 | Mad Decent

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Electronic - Released March 25, 2013 | Major Lazer Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 29, 2009 | Downtown Records

Pan-American dance diplomats Diplo and Switch moved from Brazilian baile funk and Baltimore club music to Jamaican dancehall for Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, the debut album for their Major Lazer project. (There was also a one-off Top Ten hit and Grammy-nominated Record of the Year in there too, for M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes.") The results are excellent standard-bearers for dancehall, displaying the duo's ample facility for floating the type of productions that have made dancehall the most experimental and extreme type of commercial dance music since it dawned in the mid-'80s. Inveterate DJs and music fans, both Diplo and Switch are well versed in the style, and they apparently had no difficulty recruiting dancehall's best and brightest for features, including vocalists Mr. Lex, Ms. Thing, and Mr. Vegas as well as production powerhouse Vybz Kartel (they also lured in a pair of non-dancehall types, Santigold and Amanda Blank). As other producers have known, including the Bug and DJ /rupture, dancehall music is perfect for experimentalist dance producers. It's a careening and unpredictable style, where hooks can be fashioned from any noises: sirens, horns, vocal tags, horses neighing, cellphones buzzing, babies crying, and of course, lasers. The beats are pummeling, equally reliant on digital pulses and martial snares, but they drop out often (the better to lay down some more offbeat effects). The productions here conform to dancehall more than they play against type, even spreading to the affectionately silly weed anthem "Mary Jane" and a pair of slack (aka sex-heavy) tracks, "Bruk Out" and "What U Like." (Unfortunately, on the latter, an epic battle of the sexes between Einstein and indie rap sensation Amanda Blank never materializes.) The highlights come early on, when Santigold and Mr. Lex combine fiercely on the opening "I'll Make Ya" (aka "Hold the Line"), and also on "Anything Goes," where Turbulence earns his sobriquet with a screaming extroverted performance over Major Lazer's hailstorm of beats and sweeping strings. Side two encompasses everything from Auto-Tuned dance-pop to a production tour de force on "Pon de Floor," with Major Lazer joined by Vybz Kartel. It's as much as could be expected from the high expectations brought by all the participants, and considering the rumors of more productions and guests that didn't see the light, it's likely there'll be more to come. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released June 1, 2017 | Third Pardee Records

Continuing to tease fans leading up to the release of their fourth full-length, Music Is the Weapon, EDM supergroup Major Lazer released the six-song Know No Better EP at the beginning of June in 2017. Typical of Major Lazer's genre-blending style and their mission to bring the world closer together by making the party bigger, the songs combine elements of dancehall reggae, house, trap, reggaeton, pop, and R&B. The title track features rappers Travis Scott and Quavo as well as pop singer Camila Cabello, and "Buscando Huellas" includes appearances from Colombian star J Balvin and dancehall veteran Sean Paul. The EP's energetic high point is the boisterous "Jump" (with Busy Signal), and the relatively cooled-off (but still entrancing) "Sua Cara" follows, adding some Brazilian flavor courtesy of guests Anitta and Pabllo Vittar. Jidenna, Machel Montano, and Konshens are among the additional names invited to the party. The guest list is extensive by most standards, but Major Lazer still manage to make it seem casual and effortless. Short and solid, the EP does exactly what fans expect, and it's all the better for it. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 28, 2017 | Third Pardee Records

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Pop - Released July 22, 2016 | Third Pardee Records

Electronic - Released June 1, 2015 | Third Pardee Records

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Launched as an electro-dancehall act fronted by a fictional Jamaican comic book character who comes from outer space, no one should have expected that Diplo's Major Lazer project could grow and expand artistically. Still, this third album surprises with its weight and, more than anything, subtlety as three of the best numbers are ballads. Best of these slow burners is the big hit "Lean On," where vocalist MØ and guest producer DJ Snake help deliver the sentimental lyrics and sensual house music at an intoxicating half-speed tempo. The cooled opener "Be Together" with Wild Belle feels like Macy Gray stole one of Sia's better songs and it somehow ended up here, and then there's the closing "All My Love" with Ariana Grande and Machel Montano, which raises the temperature a bit, but the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack cut appears here in a beat-dropping remix that could sneak onto any Jennifer Lopez album it chooses. Diplo should also get some kind of collaborative genius award for pairing Ellie Goulding with reggae's current cool ruler Tarrus Riley on the uplifting and aptly titled "Powerful." This chilled quadrilogy is surrounded by the usual bass, beats, and bonkers attitude, like the mighty "Roll the Bass," which offers EDM, moombahton, and trap in one herky-jerky package. Reggae tracks "Too Original" with Elliphant and Jovi Rockwell plus "Blaze Up the Fire" with Chronixx help pull the album back toward Major Lazer's original concept, and if nine tracks seems a little too short, these are all tracks that are worth revisiting. Consider it the slow and softer Major Lazer album that's built for headphone listening, but most of all, consider it. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Electronic - Released September 4, 2015 | Third Pardee Records

Electronic - Released June 18, 2013 | Major Lazer Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 16, 2009 | Downtown - Interscope

Download not available
Pan-American dance diplomats Diplo and Switch moved from Brazilian baile funk and Baltimore club music to Jamaican dancehall for Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, the debut album for their Major Lazer project. (There was also a one-off Top Ten hit and Grammy-nominated Record of the Year in there too, for M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes.") The results are excellent standard-bearers for dancehall, displaying the duo's ample facility for floating the type of productions that have made dancehall the most experimental and extreme type of commercial dance music since it dawned in the mid-'80s. Inveterate DJs and music fans, both Diplo and Switch are well versed in the style, and they apparently had no difficulty recruiting dancehall's best and brightest for features, including vocalists Mr. Lex, Ms. Thing, and Mr. Vegas as well as production powerhouse Vybz Kartel (they also lured in a pair of non-dancehall types, Santigold and Amanda Blank). As other producers have known, including the Bug and DJ /rupture, dancehall music is perfect for experimentalist dance producers. It's a careening and unpredictable style, where hooks can be fashioned from any noises: sirens, horns, vocal tags, horses neighing, cellphones buzzing, babies crying, and of course, lasers. The beats are pummeling, equally reliant on digital pulses and martial snares, but they drop out often (the better to lay down some more offbeat effects). The productions here conform to dancehall more than they play against type, even spreading to the affectionately silly weed anthem "Mary Jane" and a pair of slack (aka sex-heavy) tracks, "Bruk Out" and "What U Like." (Unfortunately, on the latter, an epic battle of the sexes between Einstein and indie rap sensation Amanda Blank never materializes.) The highlights come early on, when Santigold and Mr. Lex combine fiercely on the opening "I'll Make Ya" (aka "Hold the Line"), and also on "Anything Goes," where Turbulence earns his sobriquet with a screaming extroverted performance over Major Lazer's hailstorm of beats and sweeping strings. Side two encompasses everything from Auto-Tuned dance-pop to a production tour de force on "Pon de Floor," with Major Lazer joined by Vybz Kartel. It's as much as could be expected from the high expectations brought by all the participants, and considering the rumors of more productions and guests that didn't see the light, it's likely there'll be more to come. © John Bush /TiVo
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Dance - Released March 26, 2020 | Mad Decent

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Funk - Released February 15, 2020 | WM Brazil

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