Reviews

Diplo “Diplo” Album Review

Diplo

Diplo

  • Genre: Dance
  • Release Date: 2022-03-04
  • Explicitness: explicit
  • Country: International
  • Track Count: 14
  • ℗ 2022 Higher Ground

Back with his first full-length body of work in 18 years, Diplo has woven new features with his signature beats for an LP full of magic. The self-titled ‘Diplo’ is the culmination of three years of his own self-exploration, having revisited his teenage beloved: house music.

Diplo, largely devoid of new ideas, feels disappointingly trendy, favouring quick-hit interpretations of whatever is selling right now. The album relies heavily on recycled concepts and safe, accessible arrangements.

Diplo is surprisingly low on innovation, adventure, and emotion. As a result, it feels less like a triumphal homecoming and more like another tourist trap. With ‘Diplo’, listeners can raise their hands to the sky and sink into an undulating house, dancing safely under the watchful production of a ten-time Grammy nominee.

Album Cover Artwork

Diplo &Quot;Diplo&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, November 29, 2023
Album Cover Artwork For Diplo&Rsquo;S &Ldquo;Diplo&Rdquo;.

This is quite an interesting artwork, with a blend of blurry colours, like the vision of an inebriated person or someone under the influence of something trippy. Several light spectrums are seen in different colours mixing up with each other in some euphoric way. This can only be the POV of someone whose mind has reached cloud nine.

We also see Diplo’s face in a blurry blend of blue and white light, which gives the photo more perspective of being set in a concert or show where the ace producer is performing and someone in the crowd, high as a kite, is watching. This photo is us seeing through their eyes. Or maybe it suggests that this album is supposed to have that trippy effect on any one of its listeners.

Tracks & Features

Across its 14 songs, the album features a staggering 20 guest artists, each of whom brings something of their own to the table. Recent collaborator Leon Bridges brings a soulful touch on “High Rise”, while Jungle’s falsetto vocals and funk guitar on “Don’t Be Afraid” align the track more with Tame Impala double speed than with Diplo’s fellow dance-music DJs. “Waiting For You” with Seth Troxler and Desire is oddly 2000s, but it somehow almost works.

Tracks

NOTitleArtistTime
1Don’t Forget My LoveDiplo & Miguel3:19
2High Rise (feat. Amtrac & Leon Bridges)Diplo3:30
3Your EyesDiplo & RY X4:14
4One By One (feat. Elderbrook & Andhim)Diplo3:00
5PromisesDiplo, Paul Woolford & Kareen Lomax3:21
6Right 2 Left (feat. Busta Rhymes)Diplo & Melé2:34
7HumbleDiplo & Lil Yachty3:27
8On My MindDiplo & SIDEPIECE3:09
9Don’t Be Afraid (feat. Jungle)Diplo & Damian Lazarus3:23
10Let You Go (feat. Kareen Lomax)Diplo & TSHA3:54
11Forget About MeAluna, Diplo & Durante5:36
12Make You HappyDiplo & WhoMadeWho4:13
13Waiting For You (feat. Desire)Diplo & Seth Troxler5:36
14Looking For MePaul Woolford, Diplo & Kareen Lomax3:31

After all, the album is about reaching back to his roots. Despite its standard radio-house moments, it’s also a love letter to electronic music before the streaming era, where it was best, and only, played in front of a crowd.

“Don’t Forget My Love” with Miguel kicks off the album with a pleasant but forgettable pop-tinged sound over a typical electronic drumbeat, which unfortunately isn’t a one-off; the similar-sounding “Promises” and “Looking For Me” sound purpose-built for mainstream radio airtime.

The rest of the album isn’t so unadventurous. However, “Your Eyes” with RY X veers into an ambient house, with dreamy, filtered vocals and more scattered drum patterns, while deep-house Humble features slippery auto-tuned rap vocals and thumping bass that much better suits Diplo’s dancefloor-focused vision.

“Forget About Me (Nite Version)” sounds more built for a night drive than a nightclub, spinning the original track into spiralling synthwave; the plaintive “Make You Happy” takes a similar route, sounding like it’d be the last song of a set, despite not being the last in the album.

“Right 2 Left” with Mele is the album’s standout track by far—the kind of track that could get anyone moving with its frenetic percussion and addictive hook, even without rap legend Busta Rhymes’s call to “all of my people moving around”.

Stream

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