Placing themselves in the space between facelessness and a growing prevalence, Major Lazer has captured somewhat of a cult following over their last two albums. Despite this, they had previously not been particularly well represented on European radio.
However, as soon as ‘Peace Is the Mission’s’ lead single ‘Lean On’ dropped, it was play-listed by Radio 1 and reached the dizzying heights of the top 10 – quickly becoming Major Lazer’s most successful UK single by quite a distance.
‘Lean On’ is the group’s purest example of a pop song yet. Where their previous albums were strong homages to dancehall tracks of Jamaica, bursting at the seams with a plethora of big names attached to every track, ‘Peace Is the Mission’ is far more pragmatic. At just nine tracks, the album goes about lacing its Jamaican influences into unadulterated pop, in a way that feels less chaotic and more measured than Major Lazer‘s previous work – whether this is a good thing or not, may be up for debate amongst Major Lazer ‘purists’.
It’s not to say Major Lazer have lost the charm of their first two albums. ‘Roll The Bass’ is a track full of what they do best: energy and rhythm, while ‘Too Original’ declares itself with charging boldness. Ellie Goulding makes a sneaky appearance halfway through the record with ‘Powerful’, making for another cool catchy pop piece. Ariana Grande closes the album with a second round of Hunger Games collaboration ‘All My Love’ which is a feel good blend of Major Lazer staple and current EDM vibes.
‘Peace Is the Mission’ is Major Lazer‘s most gallant attempt at winning over a radio audience yet, and seems to be a toned down version of their cartoon alter ego. For the most part, they’ve succeeded – if their mission was indeed to hit the pop market.
That being said, what began as a cool splicing of genres may have become a bit watered down. The original idea behind Major Lazer, the brainchild of US producer Diplo, was to bring American stars to Jamaica, where they would work with local talent and create a fusion of reggae and electronic styles, consuming the culture. Perhaps it is just a case of the group evolving, but it has most certainly moved closer to an EDM and pop feel. Nonetheless, Major Lazer is still charismatic, energetic and quirky as ever.
‘Peace is the Mission’ is out now on Mad Decent (Because Music)
The full track-listing for ‘Peace is the Mission’ is as follows…