Skrillex & Diplo - Jack Ü (Album Review)

Diplo and Skrillex have been a force in EDM for quite a while. Skrillex (Sonny Moore) pretty much brought the genre to the masses with a series of dubstep influenced EPs that people quickly labeled "bro-step" and even more artists quickly sought to copy. Moore branched out some on his debut album Recess, but from what I've gathered and how I feel it seemed to receive a fairly lukewarm response. That response and the slew of copycats watering down the genre and the quality of music had some scratching their head at the end of last year and saying maybe this EDM thing isn't "the shape of punk to come" but that it could be the flavor of the week. Diplo and Skrillex team-up project has had a couple controversies (such as a rumored booing off the stage), but it had people anticipating what the pairing could deliver.

Their new album dropped surprisingly and to me it shows that both artists still have a lot of promise in their career. The ten track album features a slew of guests (which isn't uncommon for electronic albums) as well as a pretty good batch of ear pleasing beats. Yeah, they aren't re-inventing the wheel with this album, but they've certainly washed the car and you know it shines up pretty nicely. The album is full of infectious grooves and vocals parts. Nothing is more ear pleasing than the bonus remix version of "Take Ü There" a song that features Kiesza and on the remix a fantastic flawless rap guest spot from Missy Elliott. The song may be a bonus track closing the album, but it steals the show. It's one of the better songs I've heard this year and an ultimate reminder of why Missy Elliot is one of the better female rappers the genre has ever had. The song "Where Are Ü Now" features Justin Bieber. Say what you want about "The Bieb" but his performance is really well done on the song and is another great standout.

I think what this collaboration succeeds in doing best is creating an album without one skipper or boring song, at least in my opinion. Skrillex's most recent album, Recess, just fell a little flat. It had moments, but it left me skipping around a little too much for it to have a ton of lasting value. Diplo's work has also had up and down moments over the last few years. In my opinion, he hasn't been under quite the microscope of Skrillex due to the whole "bro-step" movement, but regardless he's had his critics. For both of these guys to come together and come out of it with an album this strong it breathes a lot of life into the each of their careers, possibly their longevity, and the longevity of the genre. When an artist like Porter Robinson is pushing sonic boundaries it's nice to hear some other staple artists from the genre produce such a well rounded album. Don't go into this album expecting something as good as Robinson's album Worlds. It's more of just a good, fun listen.

This album is a more than an enjoyable ride. It's packed full of really great songs. The beats experiment a little and the production feels right and pretty strong. I really enjoy the guest spots. They fit the songs nicely. There aren't a lot of warts on this one and it's definitely some of the best sounding music I've heard from these artists in a while. If you're a little wore out on the genre then give this album a listen. I think it definitely has some really standout songs and kept me pretty interested throughout the album.

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