Jack Ü has been in the dance music spotlight ever since their 2013 debut. Now, two years later, their first album is finally here. The appropriately titled Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü features nine, high-energy tracks will have listeners bursting into instant party mode. And as if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, the Missy Elliott remix of “Take Ü There” is also included as a bonus track. Not bad, right?
A comedic introduction kicks things off, as Diplo and Skrillex engage in a static recording of what sounds like drunken philosophical conversation. The mellowed out mood is immediately broken, however, by rapid claps of the first musical track, “Beats Knockin.” Before you know it, you’ll be thrown into a frenzy of twerk-worthy beats featuring the vocals of Fly Boi Keno.
The next song should be instantly familiar to fans of the duo, as it’s the album’s first official single. “Take Ü There” has already gotten its fair share of radio play, but still consistently manages to rattle dance floors worldwide. Listening to it again on the album, it’s just as effective as it was the first time we heard it. Kiesza’s powerful vocals are accompanied by wonky chopped and screwed sounds, which have set the bar for what Jack Ü is all about. Fast-forward to the end of the LP and you’re brought back to the 90s, with the Missy Elliott remix of the track. Speeding things up, she drops a few playful and funky bars that breathe new life into the original.
Continuing on the train of collaborations, rapper 2 Chainz is brought on board for “Febreze.” His aggressive tone and verses combine with a drop that is sure to break speakers and necks. It goes without question that this song will initiate a flurry of trap arms and related impromptu dance moves interpreting the lyrics, “I’m the sh*t, I should have Febreze on me.”
Standing as the highlight track of the album, “To Ü” features the soothing and tantalizing vocals of Aluna Francis. Taking a step back from the twerk tunes, a beautiful melody is paired with perfectly set percussions and horns. This future bass masterpiece boasts a drop made in heaven, and is sure to inspire some great remixes in the near future.
Things don’t stay quiet for long, though, as moments of chill on the album are short-lived and followed by bursts of energetic beats. Case in point: “Jungle Bae,” which features Bunji Garlin, whose distinguishable Soca vocals make him the perfect fit for this dancehall anthem. The moombah track combines Diplo’s Major Lazer vibes with the raw sound of Skrillex’s “Ragga Bomb,” making for a track that will have crowds exploding during the upcoming festival season.
Following suit of “Jungle Bae’s” dance floor grime is “Holla Out.” For this heavy track, Jack Ü bring in Snails and Taranchyla, who are no strangers to the dubstep game. Diplo and Skrillex’s bounce crew is in full force for this one, creating a face-melting, neck-breaking piece that bassheads will love.
Rounding out the album are two more downtempo productions that have created a lot of buzz. The first one is titled, “Mind.” Before he became Skrillex, Sonny Moore sang in a band called From First To Last. Though it’s not often that we get to hear him sing nowadays, he exercises his vocals in this smooth jam and provides a nice contrast to Kai’s seductive sound on the track. Meanwhile, the quirky plucks and distortions at the break are reminiscent of Diplo’s “Drunk N Luv” remix.
The meshing of the dance and pop worlds continues with “Where Are Ü Now.” Tropical flutes and relaxing drums paint summer vibes that nicely bring the LP to a close. The twist? “Where Are Ü Now” features the vocals of Justin Bieber, whose name alone may initially define one’s thoughts about the track. Regardless, Bieber’s voice compliments the soothing tone. While you don’t have to admit to being a Belieber, it’s ok to accept that this collaboration works, and it works well. Expect it to garner a good amount of airplay in the near future, as this one’s addictive and has “hit” written all over it.
At first glance, Jack Ü’s album appears to be all over the place when it comes to genres, therefore lacking cohesiveness. While this may seem like a bad thing, it’s one of the defining pillars of this massive collaboration. Skrillex and Diplo are two of the most respected names in the dance music scene. They have a sound that can be defined as loud, fun, experimental, and full of surprises, and the super duo’s addictive personalities are unmistakably embedded into every single note of the album.
Their ability to experiment and go outside of the norm adds to the allure of Jack Ü, since we never know what to expect. The only constant in their music? Good, dirty, party vibes – along with the production skills to carry out their (sometimes questionable, but ingenious) vision.
Jack Ü’s debut album received a fair amount of hype before it was released, but it was rightfully deserved. Its genre-bending and top-notch collaborations bring together a solid collection of tracks that are sure to be played out plenty in the near future.