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"Hop in the blue, blue sky," sang avant-disco luminary Arthur Russell on 1986's "Let's Go Swimming." And with Swim, Dan Snaith does just that. The chameleon formerly known as Manitoba has explored shoegaze, IDM, krautrock, and shiny '60s psych-pop, but his latest dives into headphone-friendly dance music's deep blue. What does he find, amid floaty vocals, MDMA grooves, and poignant lyrics? "Sun, sun, sun." Add the vibrant pathos of "Odessa" and "Kaili," and you've got the first grown-up chillwave album.
BIG BOISIR LUCIOUS LEFT FOOT:THE SONG OF CHICO DUSTY
Label politics kept the Aquemini-echoing André 3000-Raekwon collabo "Royal Flush" off this first official solo album by OutKast's street-savvier half. Lame? Yeah. Fitting, too. While Lucious is a great rap album in a classic sense, its heavy, heady funk never looks back. Guests kill: Gucci Mane on the soul-woozy "Shine Blockas," even dissolute producer Scott Storch on teeth-rattler "Shutterbugg." But "General Patton" prevails: "Let's be clear / I'm a leader, not your peer." Boi, don't stop.