The self-titled debut album from British pop DJ Alex Crossan AKA Mura Masa, while producing some quality bangers and funky house tracks, fails to come across as a much of a Mura Masa project. The quality of the tracks, the production and the diversity of sounds on the album all contribute to the positive sides of the album. Although, the production levels are off the charts, as per usual with Crossan’s music, sometimes the tracks feel like another artist’s track that features Mura Masa. Although that may work for projects made by other artists, Mura Masa’s previous solo work proved that he is fully capable of doing such a thing on his own.
For example, Calvin Harris’ recent album Funk Wave Bounces Vol.1 features 21 different artists who all contribute to the album, however Calvin hasn’t proven himself to be a stable solo artist. Crossan succeeded in the pop music market with songs like “Lovesick” and “Lotus Eater”, that don’t feature any other artist.
Despite this fact, the album holds up based on sheer music quality alone. Although nine of the thirteen songs had already been released as singles or on other projects, the project still has an overlying theme and general vibe to it. Each song leaves the listener tapping their foot, nodding their head or dancing like nobody’s watching. Despite the previous ramblings and complaints about the features, the majority of the features performed very well for the most part. A wide array of artists from different genres like rap; A$AP Rocky and Desiigner, electronic; Bonzai and NAO and even huge names like Damon Albarn sees the album’s guest vocalists succeed greatly.
Personally, the best tracks on the album are “All Around The World” featuring Desiigner, “What If I Go?” featuring Bonzai and “Messy Love”. “All Around The World”, while definitely sounding more like a Desiigner track than a Mura Masa track, is a funky hip-hop track which appeals to fans of both genres. Although the track is good, it fails to really show off much of Mura Masa’s skills as an artist and instead sees him come across as a glorified producer. “What If I Go?” is a fun party track which never fails to get everyone up and jiving and “Messy Love” is just a nice sounding track and a great opener for the album.
When considering albums like this, one has to separate two factors; quality of the music and how much the artist has progressed. The music quality is top notch, great production, jazzy bangers and fun overtones equate to a fun pop-EDM album, but Mura Masa should remain wary of falling behind as other artists race ahead of him and progress at a faster rate. The album was a good debut, but a better warning.
Album Rating: 7.4 out of 10.
Mura Masa is out now.