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Album Review: Pretty Lights’ ‘A Color Map of the Sun’

The time has come, Pretty Lights’ much anticipated double album, A Color Map of the Sun, has officially dropped. As always, you can scoop them for free on his website. This album is a little different than previous PL releases because for the first time Derek used samples from his own personal vinyls that he’s been collecting over the last couple of years to create all of the tracks. If you haven’t watched the “making of the album” documentary yet, you should definitely check it out before you listen. One of the coolest parts is being able to pick out and recognize the small, but crucial, instrumental details within the songs. For example, the little music box sample in “Prophet” is that much iller when you remember seeing Derek’s mammoth hands carefully twist the music box. Because he used all live studio recording sessions (which you can listen to on Disc 2), the whole album has a much more organic feel than what some PL fans might be used to. The songs don’t have as much going on electronically, instead they are much more focused instrumentally and emotionally, much like PL’s first album Taking Up Your Precious Time.

All the tracks are on point, but here are some of the standouts: [soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] “Everything gets older with time, but the world is spinning slower in my mind…” these lyrics and the funky sax riffs won’t stop swirling around in my head. [soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Featuring Talib Kweli, this is just a straight up feel good track with a hyphy little dub drop thrown in for fun. [soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

This is a perfect example of the chillin’, organic vibe of the new album. I could listen to this morning, day and night. [soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

I can’t get enough of the techno vibe of this track. So simple, but so jammin’.

All in all, the album speaks volumes on the direction that PLM is going and I couldn’t be more stoked on it. It’s refreshing to see that even an artist that relies so heavily on electronic production can create an album made solely from live instruments, but still keeps that signature funky trip-hop PL vibe.


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