written by: Layla Marino

A number of EPs, mostly containing remixes from Major Lazer’s debut album, “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do” have been released since yellow-mohawked, neck chain hulaing, daggering champion hype man Skerritt Bwoy’s split from the group. “Free the Universe” is Major Lazer’s first full-length album since the split, however, and while the EPs as well as Major Lazer’s the live shows during the last tour seemed to feel a little lacking from the loss of Skerritt Bwoy’s flamboyant antics, the new album fills whatever gaps there may have been with a host of major guest talent and varied and complex beats.

Skerrit Bwoy split from Major Lazer after finding religion in 2012, and has since given up his daggering ways, been baptised, got married, and started his own project called Electric Gospel. Quite a departure from the Cheshire Cat-grinning hype man who took dry-humping on the dancefloor in Jamaica to the art form it is now.

With the release of “Free the Universe”, fans can expect the Major Lazer cartoon saga and toy line to continue, as well as much of the last album’s talent such as Santigold, Ms. Dynamite, and Elephant Man to return. Diplo and Switch have also conscripted the likes of Bassnectar (whose track is surprisingly NOT Dubstep), Amber from Dirty Projectors, Wyclef Jean and, shockingly, Bruno Mars to contribute to the album. The result is an extremely diverse album whose beats range from dancehall to moombathon to 80s-inspired new wave. Every track is highly danceable but also musically interesting and always containing Switch’s signature nod to the islands with some form of reggae woven in. Some highlights of the album are “Keep Cool” (feat. Shaggy & Wynter Gordon), “Scare Me” (feat. Peaches & Timberlee), “Sweat” (feat. Laidback Luke & Ms. Dynamite), and moombathon game-changer “Jet Blue Jet” (feat. Leftside, GTA and Razz & Biggy). There really are no bad tracks on this record, and the whole album promises to feature heavily in clubs and on ipods this summer.