fri 05/06/2020

Album: Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley - Chapter 1: Snake Oil | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley - Chapter 1: Snake Oil

Album: Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley - Chapter 1: Snake Oil

EDM megastar teases a change of direction but doesn’t deliver

Diplo: insipid stuff

Word has been out for a while that EDM megastar Diplo has decided to throw a curve ball with his musical career, don a cowboy hat and release a country and western album. If that is truly the case, then there must be another disc in the pipeline because the somewhat awkwardly titled Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley – Chapter 1: Snake Oil certainly isn’t anything which displays any meaningful kinship with the likes of Willie Nelson or Hank Williams.

Sure, there are miniscule hints of cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats in places, but “Intro” has more in common (unintentionally, I suspect) with the satirical country tunes of Rich Hall than anything performed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. “So Long” does feature a fiddle prominently in its chart-friendly production, but it seems to be Taylor Swift or Shania Twain whom vocalist Cam had in mind to emulate rather than anyone of Patsy Cline’s pedigree. Similarly, “Heartbreak” and “Do Si Do”, Diplo’s collaboration with Blanco Brown, also have the feel of comedy country and western, with more than a sniff of CW McCall’s “Convoy” rather than anything approaching the real thing.

Apart from yet another remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”, which is tacked on to the end of the album, that’s it as far as the slight country and western influence extends on this album. From there, it’s back to the beige aural wallpaper with which Diplo is associated these days. “Hometown” sounds like the kind of thing that Craig David might have discarded early in his career for being too insipid, while bland, autotuned RnB collaborations with the likes of the Jonas Brothers, Noah Cyrus and the like dominate the rest of the disc. In fact, to subtitle the album “Snake Oil” just about sums up the whole sorry package.

To subtitle the album 'Snake Oil' just about sums up the whole sorry package

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