The new Dillon Francis album doesn’t take a long time to appreciate.
While Money Sucks, Friends Rule is the debut album from Francis, it sure doesn’t sound like it.
Producing a track is one thing, but mastering an album takes massive dedication, focus and creativity. Although he’s released countless singles, collaborations and remixes over the course of his breakout – Money Sucks, Friends Rule is without question one of the most significant EDM albums of the year.
With a newly-inked sleeve tattoo and that same shit-eating grin we all love, Francis still found a way to release his first-ever album in original fashion. After streaming his album on MTV earlier this week (one week prior to releasing it for sale on iTunes), the reaction to his debut album certainly seems to match the hype.
Caricaturing the EDM industry as he’s done flawlessly so many times before, Francis successfully blurs the line of pop and dance – introducing newcomers to the ever-changing genre known as Moombahton.
The genre itself is still fairly young and widely unknown. Best defined as a medley of other EDM sub-genres, Moombahton typically fuses reggae with various forms of house (primarily dutch or electro). The genre didn’t even exist until 2009, when it was invented in Washington D.C. by American DJ and producer, Dave Nada. Some artists, like Francis, will drop in occasional bits of hip-hop influence or dub step melodies (also known as Moombahcore).
Moombahton, and cynicism, take center stage in the debut album from this rising phenomenon.
Money Sucks, Friends Rule is a fucking musical joyride. Amusing, addictive and downright liberating – all 12 uniquely jaw-dropping tracks seem to take on a life of their own.
The opening line of the album’s first track could not be more fitting.
“Attention ladies and gentleman,
I have all the holes on my pelvis
’cause I look like black Elvis.”
Perhaps nobody aside from the track’s creators will ever understand what this line means, but who cares. “All That” (still deciding if it’s a shot-out to the old Nickelodeon show) is an explosive combination of Twista’s quickly-paced hip-hop style and Francis’ aptitude for electro funk.
With an upbeat and anti-everything attitude – it’s the perfect opener for pants parties everywhere.
As the first song released from his new album almost eight months ago, “Get Low” is the undeniable smash-hit from Money Sucks, Friends Rule.
Released just before summer started, DJ Snake and Francis went all out on this one. From a spot-on, hilarious music video to a rebirth in Paris (when Francis remixes his own songs he calls them a “rebirth), “Get Low” quickly put two of Mad Decent’s finest producers on another level.
Although it’s not the song most of his avid longtime followers would call their favorite, it’s definitely the one they always find themselves listening to over and over. And over.
“When We Were Young”
Francis teamed up with Sultan & Ned Shepard for this tribute to the good old days. The highly-acclaimed producers from Canada are known for their prowess in progressive house, which essentially made “When We Were Young” a promising track before it was even on paper.
It reminds us of the days when ice cream was orgasmic, balloons were confusing, and putting your face in between a woman’s massive breasts was considered cute and funny.
And if Dillon Francis is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
“Set Me Free”
This might have been the most anticipated track on the album. Martin Garrix came at No. 4 on the DJ Mag’s irrelevant top 100 DJs list – which is interesting considering Dillon Francis was ranked almost fifty spots lower than him (and he’s doing a song on his new album).
However, teamwork here is apparent. “Set Me Free” has an ominous, electro-house bass-line that we’ve quite simply never heard before (like, from anybody). This heavy-hitting collaboration was a big move for Garrix to rid himself of the big-room house typecast he received after “Animals” blew up the internet.
“Drunk All The Time”
Without question, “Drunk All The Time” is the unforeseen gem on the album. At first listen, the lyrics suggest another awkward comparison to falling in love. But if you listen closely, it’s clear that the “drunk” expressed in this song is not a happy drunk.
Count nonsense off my page
Count bleakly off my face
Being with you, I feel drunk all the time.”
“Love In The Middle Of A Firefight”
I jumped out of my seat when I heard this collaboration was coming out. A combination of Urie’s sensitive vocals and Francis’ ability to slow things down (just a little bit), “Love In The Middle Of A Firefight” solidifies the variety that Dillon Francis is capable of attaining.
Francis calls the song a “dream come true.” And so do I.
Dillon Francis has actually never eaten I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but that’s not the point.
With what seems like a direct knock at Knife Party, “Not Butter” might be the most notable song on the album. If you follow Dillon Francis, you know there is a purpose for everything he does (even if that purpose is not giving a shit about anything he does).
@knifepartyinc btw miss you guyssssssss a bunch
— Dillon Francis (@DILLONFRANCIS) October 19, 2014
If you look into Knife Party’s interaction with Dillon Francis on Twitter, you’ll see why this all makes sense. Now consider the fact that when Kill The Noise and Dillon Francis originally teamed up for a satirical collaboration called “Meowski666” – they had two other names in the running. One was “Kitten House Mafia” and the other was “Kitten Party.”
As a matter of fact, the Twitter account still exists. And from the profile photo, it’s quite evident where their inspiration was derived from.
Kittens are awesome.
— Kitten Party ツ (@KittenParty666) October 22, 2014
The stab at Knife Party was so relevant, some people even thought that the collaboration was between Dillon Francis and the Australian duo themselves.
Now here’s the best part. At Hard’s “Day Of The Day” in 2012, Francis stopped his performance mid-song to share his thoughts on Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen (aka Knife Party).
You’ll hear it very plainly in the video below: “Knife Party can suck my dick!”
All things considered – the vocals in “Not Butter” are undoubtedly ripping off “Internet Friends,” the song that essentially put Knife Party on the map.
Oh no he didn’t.
“I Can’t Take It”
This track stuck out like a sore-thumb in Dillon Francis’ Ultra mix, which he released back in March. In a much more complex, advanced style – Francis samples the very same big-room Moombahton style that we heard at the start of his career (like his incomparable remix of “Feel So Close”).
If you’re looking for the most quintessential Dillon Francis song on the album, this is it.
“We Are Impossible”
This song could very well be a shot-out to famous author Ray Bradbury, and the famous quote “We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”
Bradbury lived in Los Angeles (Francis is from Los Angeles) the majority of his life before passing away in 2012. On top of that correlation, Ray Bradbury was also responsible for inspiring “The Veldt” by Deadmau5.
If you thought Money Sucks, Friends Rule was just a collection of catchy nonsense, stop judging a book by its cover. “We Are Impossible” isn’t the best song on the album by any means, but it’s always redeeming to learn about an artist through their music.
“We Make It Bounce”
Anything you make with Diplo will always be original.
While this particular sound isn’t something we’d typically expect to hear from Francis – it’s a nice median to the heavy-hitting tracks on the rest of the album. What seems like a bland big-room house beat at first transitions further and further into a much more complex track.
With powerful, reggae vocals from Stylo G – Diplo and his protege might actually make you bounce with this one.
“What’s That Spell”
Dillon Francis used a potty word.
Call the FCC.
This could very well become one of the biggest hits on the album. God forbid, you might even hear it on the radio eventually. But as mentioned about “Drunk All The Time,” any love song from Dillon Francis is always going to be intriguing.
“Hurricane” is not only thought-provoking in a weird way, it’s probably the catchiest song on the entire album. And that’s saying a lot, because the whole damn album is catchy.
“I love you like a Hurricane
I’ll blow your heart away.”
If nothing else, just appreciate the fact that Dillon Francis is probably the only musician that can successfully compare love to a natural disaster without making it depressing or offensive.
—(Featured photo courtesy of the Dillon Francis Facebook page)