This compilation put together by Diplo that is there mostly to showcase his own work and artists he has worked with really leaves listeners wanting. I realize it’s a little tricky with trying to figure out who the audience for this collection is, which is probably why he decided to lead off the album with a track from his excellent solo album, Florida, “Newsflash,” and then his remix of M.I.A.’s big crossover hit, “Paper Planes.” I’m sure some people might pick this up, hear those songs, and then have the realization of who he is. For those of us that have been following his career, it will make the listener go, “Duh.” His remix of Spank Rock is decent, but nothing special, and also seems like a name recognition ploy more than a demonstration of his talents. Finally, by the time we get to the fourth track, Diplo gives a track he produced for Kano, “Reload It,” and it’s a breath of fresh air. The production on the track is absolutely sick, with a simple synth-bass line laying over hectic dancehall drums. The song is taken from Kano’s 2005 album, Home Sweet Home, but most of us stateside aren’t that familiar with his work, and this comp can actually serve the purpose of exposing us to musicians we didn’t already know through Diplo’s production work. We also get a treat in “200,” and instrumental track he did in 2004 that I imagine just didn’t make it onto Florida. His remix of Bloc Party’s “Where is Home?” really just reminds me that Bloc Party never moved me, and Diplo doesn’t really change my mind about them. His remix of CSS features some pretty neat production work, but doesn’t quite escape the detached ironic hipster party of CSS that I could never really get into. Bonde Do Role fare slightly better, although their music sounds a little too much like Diplo made it on Fisher-Price’s “My First Brazilian Drum Machine.” Samim’s “Heater” is another hidden gem on the album from someone I wasn’t familiar with, but it turns out to be a great instrumental dance number. The Hot Chip remix does provide a decent change to the original recording, but it seems a bit drawn out with no real payoff. “Way More Brazil,” does what I wish the opening track on this compilation did, which is give us a fresh take on a Florida song we’ve heard before. The remix of the Black Lips is decent, but doesn’t really stand out in any way. The remix of Claude Vonstroke’s “The Whistler,” does breath some life into what was a promising but somewhat flat original recording. “Smash a Kangaroo,” is a good original piece that creates an Australian Dancehall aura that really makes me wonder where these original samples are coming from. Scanning the song list for the compilation, the one that had me the most worried was Peter, Bjorn and John. Fortunately, I have to say Diplo did a pretty good job of reinventing the song in a way that breathed some fresh life into a song that had been played to death before I ever even decided if I liked it or not. All in all, not an amazing compilation, but there are some gems on here. Next time, I hope the word decent comes across in more of an ironic sense.
|Title:||Diplo - Decent Work For Decent Pay|