||Free Wired CD (2010)
The Cataracs songs On their major-label debut, the Far East Movement take a heaping helping of dance music, mix in a boy band's idea of pop and R&B, and then add just a bit of hip-hop flavor for a genre they lopsidedly call "electro hop." If that infers big booming bass and tough beats, know that the California-based Far East Movement -- they're "Far East" as in Asian-American -- make the Black Eyed Peas sound absolutely thick, but their slick hooks and ultra-sheen productions are extra infectious, and when they bait the crowd with phrases like "Cherry cherry, boom boom" instead of "C'mon everybody," the dancefloor gets a unique shot of quirky cuteness. Heck, when they talk of feeling "Like a G6" on that standout track, it's not a car or plane model, it's just something two units cooler than the G4s rapper Drake tends to mention, so revel in their playfulness or just move on. Special guests are all over the highlights, with Snoop Dogg (the rather racy "If I Was You [OMG]"), Keri Hilson (the David Guetta-like floor-filler "Don't Look Now"), and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (the Mike Posner-like "Rocketeer") landing on some of the album's best tracks. Still, producer Roger Sanchez trumps them all with the tribal house beats and the B-52's "Love Shack" sample he brings to the closing "2gether." ~ David Jeffries
Recording information: Cherrytree Recording Studios; Island Life Studios, Ibiza; Paradise Studios; Purple Reign Studios, Inglewood, CA; Short Bus Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Meeno DPD.