Major Lazer: Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do

Music Reviews Major Lazer
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Major Lazer: Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do
Diplo and Switch tag-team for sizzling reggae set

Also, there are laser sounds. And filthy sex references. One song rhymes “stripper,” “tipper,” “sip-a,” “hard liquor” and “Jack the Ripper.” The production overall is impeccable and the sequencing shrewd; the tracks feel visceral and visual—you can almost see them as they hurtle by. The album’s overall effect is less deafening than blinding.

Produced by the DJ tandem of Switch and Diplo, the record features verses from (among others) Mr. Lexx, Santigold and Ricky Blaze, the charismatic T-Pain doppelganger who leads an irresistible club track called “Keep It Goin Louder,” which might as well be the album’s subtitle. Mind-blowing noise comes from every direction—there’s a militaristic snare drum, a whinnying horse, a coarse surf guitar and an awesome Auto-Tuned baby.

Two white boys visit Jamaica to make a reggae record—it sounds like the setup for a joke. But Major Lazer is a legitimately dope project that captures the rush of dancehall, the chilled-out vibe of rocksteady and the cheeseball charm of dance pop.