Los Angeles hit makers Far East Movement are at the forefront of pop music’s evolution towards the bass-thumping, neon-wearing industry standard of 2012. The group’s newest effort, Dirty Bass, is a relentless 14-track dance party fit for pre-gaming sorority girls, bachelorette parties and anyone who fancies overusing the term “#YOLO.” That said, the album has its fist-pumping-good-time moments, but is sadly a diluted taste of the seemingly boundless electronic dance music scene.
While the album’s production value is top-notch, Dirty Bass fails to offer a deviation from formulaic, LMFAO-esque party anthems. The album’s one-dimensional platform plays out more as a playlist of selected singles rather than a complete body of work. The common theme of the album is a bit crass and abundantly clear: everybody should want to party as hard as Far East Movement. Songs like “Live My Life” ft. Justin Beiber (“I’m gonna live my life, No matter what, we party tonight”) and “Basshead” ft. YG (“Pop, pop, take a sip like, we the cool kids, take a hit”) seek to push Dirty Bass’ party hard agenda.
Despite a lack of lyrical breadth, there are a few gems hidden in Dirty Bass. The title track (“Dirty Bass” ft. Tyga) starts the album off strong with a hard-hitting bassline and a tropical soca drum pattern reminiscent of Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor” while “Turn Up the Love” ft. Cover Drive features an incredibly fun and infectious horn section. The trancey and upbeat “Fly With U” ft. Cassie stands out as a feel good club banger as well.
It would be foolish to take Dirty Bass too seriously. In all, it’s a fun party album riding the wave of pop’s new fascination with bass-heavy dance music. Just let the bass move you and take the lyrics with a grain of salt (or a shot of tequila).