SOUNDS LIKE: Exactly what it aims to be - Globe trotting tastemaker DJ/producer Diplo and indie-to-mainstream rapper Mac Miller stumble into a folky country fair in Southern Bulgaria.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: In a rap week defined by mind-bending and intellectually deep releases from Kanye West (Yeezus), J. Cole (Born Sinner) and Miller himself (Watching Movies with the Lights On), in stumbles Diplo into the party with an off-kilter, booming bass-bin rattler sampling Israeli-American folk/funk "Gypsy punk" dance act Balkan Beat Box. At a time when music demands the listener arguably be more mindful than any other time, the Mad Decent label boss' pop confection is a wonderful respite of mindless self indulgence.
Only one album into his mainstream rap career, Pittsburgh emcee Mac Miller is already a man at a crossroads. Debut album Blue Slide Park hit number one for the rapper, selling modestly yet spawning immense touring sales and growth of an already rabid indie fanbase. However, it must be noted that within two years from 2011, 16-year old pop disciples have become 18-year old jaded teens - and Miller clearly felt the need to deliver to his morphing core fanbase. Addled by an addiction to promethazine during his incredible mainstream rise, the latest album is a druggy journey to the heart of a boy-turned-man.
Every young emcee or producer - from Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt to hot producer of-the-moment Flying Lotus (and more) is represented on the album, but it may be Diplo's wacky wonder of a bonus track that provides the release's most apropos listen. If in wine (or drug) we find the truth, then Miller's absurd verbal musings about meaningless sex with groupies - punctuated by a wild hook of "when I die I bet she f*** my hologram" may be the most emblematic song of the top rapper's mental state at-the-moment.