Recommend if you like: Grouplove, Little Dragon, fun summer montage music
Expectation: RAC, which originally stood for “Remix Artist Collective”, is the now-solo project of Portuguese DJ André Allen Anjos. Known for his unconventional approach to remixing songs from a wide variety of genres, RAC’s original compositions feature a blend of rock & pop over primarily electronic instrumentation, with a diverse cast of recognizable vocalists.
- Fever – A catchy pop tune with a few interesting choices of instrumentation, giving an immediate statement on what this album is all about.
- I Still Wanna Know – One of the biggest names on the album wasted on one of the most forgettable songs.
- Nobody – Chaos Chaos brings a fun energy to this summery indie rock tune, though the unexpectedly dark outro feels largely unnecessary to what would otherwise be an nice, easygoing track.
- Unusual – Decent hip hop flavored production behind a wholly unremarkable performance from MNDR.
- This Song – A synth-heavy jam full of energy, with Rostam displaying surprising range as a vocal guest and RAC’s instrumental playfully incorporating elements of his guest’s signature sound.
- No One Has To Know – While the song comes on strong with a lively beat and a big hook, the best elements are overused and the full track overstays its welcome with an extended bridge that fails to lead anywhere satisfying.
- The Beautiful Game – My favorite track on the album, featuring an adventurous structure, a diverse collection of instruments which continue to surprise well into the song, and great performances from both vocalists.
- Johnny Cash – Launching off the momentum of the prior track, this track propels itself forward on the strength of its high-energy beat and Scavenger Hunt’s smooth vocal harmonies.
- It’s a Shame – A catchy little pop tune with clean, by-the-book production throughout.
- Be – RAC makes an attempt at branching out in his instrumentation, and while the vocal samples are fine (if simplistic) the piano and muted guitar notes fail to contribute anything much to the song, instead sounding half-baked in comparison with the album’s polished standards.
- Heartbreak Summer – A fine but immediately forgettable indie rock tune.
- Find a Way – I’m not going to jump to “painfully boring” since the production is at least appropriately grandiose, but how anyone can write something this generic and be happy with the result astounds me.
- Heavy – Karl Kling delivers one of the more memorable guest appearances of the album, but the song as a whole fails to stand out.
- End – Three minutes longer than it should be.
Overall: From a basic production standpoint, this album is immaculate: RAC pulls from a distinct sonic palette to unify the album’s sound, the mix is pristine, and no performer ever sounds out of place. Unfortunately, the guest performers rarely feel as if they contribute much more than being the vocalist for their particular track, and every song adheres to a nearly formulaic construction that severely wears on the listener as the album goes on. While somewhat interesting as a rare example of a producer-driven pop rock album, Ego will be swiftly forgotten.