Dillon Francis, ‘This Mixtape Is Fire.’ – Review


Dillon Francis, This Mixtape is Fire © Columbia

Dillon Francis’ Mixtape proves sound and enjoyable, not necessarily ‘fiery’

Dillon Francis • The Mixtape Is Fire. • Columbia • Release Date: August 14, 2015

It takes a confident man to praise his own album within the title. Apparently DJ/producer Dillon Francis is a very confident man. Give him credit; there are plenty of moments from the eight-track This Mixtape Is Fire that live up to its ambitious title. Still, is it all as “fiery” as Francis suggests? Let’s dig in!

This Mixtape Is Fire kicks off, well fiery with “Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Lovin).” Honestly what more is there to say? The synths are bursting with energy and the groove rocks – in an electronic dance music sort of way. Maybe, just maybe Francis was onto something when he named this project.

Calvin Harris joins Francis on the exuberant “What’s Your Name,” which builds up into a frenzy of biting synths buttressed by a sick beat. Is it a predictable formula? Of course – this is electronic music, which thrives off of minimalistic repetition and gradual changes. Does predictability kill the vibe? Nope.

Skrillex is the collaborator of choice on the hip-hop oriented “Bun Up the Dance” which has you nodding thanks to its infectiousness from the jump. If it were a fight between “What’s Your Name” and “Bun Up the Dance,” “Bun” has an advantage. Catchy as your choice of four-letter word, whether that be good or…you catch the drift.

“Pull It” brings on Bro Safari. Sound without being revolutionary, “Pull It” is great for the club, but less enthralling for continuous listening. On “Coming Over” featuring Kygo and James Hersey, the script is changed, which is a welcome contrast. The tropical-pop vibe definitely freshens This Mixtape Is Fire – not that the fire had burned out. 

Chromeo appear on penultimate cut “Lies,” another departure from the front portion of This Mixtape Is Fire. The talkbox from Chromeo is definitely a great touch atop the production work, while the overall vibe is enigmatic. Although brief at just over two minutes, “Lies” packs a punch. “I Can’t Take It – Party Favor Remix” concludes This Mixtape Is Fire, much like it began with “Bruk Bruk.” It’s not as great, but it gets those feet stepping.

Ultimately is This Mixtape fire? Eh it’s definitely not cold and calling it lukewarm is harsh, but “fire” may be stretching it. Still this is great for the clubs, busting a move at home (the office?), or background music for many an occasion. Maybe not “fire,” but the definitely warm.

Favorites: “Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Lovin),” “Bun Up the Dance” and “Lies”

★★★

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