Just when you think 2020 can’t possibly get any stranger, one of the world’s biggest DJs and producers known for his blend of dancehall and electro-house has released what he’s advertising as a country album. In reality, it’s more of a proven hitmaker riding the untamed horse of the Yeehaw Agenda, applying country elements to pop and hip-hop music.
Diplo seems to be having a lot of fun—partially paying loving homage and partially jokingly—indulging in the inherent delightful campiness of country music. At the same time, the real-deal country artists that do appear being completely game for the madness legitimizes these tracks, and the glossy sheen typical of Diplo’s production turns them into the kind of crossover smash-hits-in-waiting that are becoming an increasingly perfect fit in the genreless mishmash of today.
After a spoken-word intro from the perennially theatrical Orville Peck, the project features appearances from both genre heavyweights like Cam and Thomas Rhett and outsiders as diverse as the Jonas Brothers and Young Thug – some of the greatest moments actually come from these outsiders pushing themselves to reach the kind of emotional vulnerability and detailed storytelling typical in country music. Regardless of the extent of your affinity for cowboy hats, chaps, and harmonica breakdowns, there’s definitely something here for you to enjoy.