Mura Masa (album)

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Mura Masa
Mura Masa album.jpg
Studio album by Mura Masa
Released 14 July 2017
Recorded 2014–16
Genre
Length 45:17
Label
Producer Mura Masa
Mura Masa chronology
Someday Somewhere EP
(2015)Someday Somewhere EP2015
Mura Masa
(2017)
Singles from Mura Masa
  1. "What If I Go?"
    Released: 7 April 2016
  2. "Lovesick"
    Released: 30 September 2016
  3. "1 Night"
    Released: 17 March 2017
  4. "All Around the World"
    Released: 17 May 2017
  5. "Second 2 None" / "Blu"
    Released: 29 June 2017
  6. "Nuggets" / "Helpline"
    Released: 7 July 2017

Mura Masa is the self-titled debut studio album by Guernsey-born music producer Alex Crossan, under his alias Mura Masa. It was released on 14 July 2017 by Polydor, Interscope, Downtown and Anchor Point Records. The album was produced and recorded by Crossan from 2014 to 2016, and has guest features by A. K. Paul, ASAP Rocky, Bonzai, Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens, Damon Albarn, Desiigner, Jamie Lidell, NAO and Tom Tripp. It received nominations for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Recording Package [1] at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[2]

It is a pop, electronic, hip hop and funk album, incorporating trap, bubblegum and electronic sub-genres such as ambient, disco, dubstep, house and tropical house. It was supported by six singles: "What If I Go?", "Lovesick", "1 Night", "All Around the World", "Second 2 None" / "Blu" and "Nuggets" / "Helpline". Upon release, it received positive reviews by critics, and debuted at number 19 on the UK Albums Chart and at 196 on the US Billboard 200.

Background[edit]

After playing guitar, bass, drums and singing in local punk, hardcore, deathcore and gospel bands, Alex Crossan started self-producing at the age of 15, "searching for samples on YouTube and other corners of the internet".[3] At 16, he started to make electronic songs using Ableton Live, and began uploading them to Soundcloud the following year, under the alias Mura Masa.[4]

He posted his debut mixtape Soundtrack to a Death to Soundcloud, later released by Jakarta Records on 17 November 2014.[5] The following year, he released his debut EP, Someday Somewhere, on 10 April.[6] He announced on December 2016 that the follow-up would be an album titled To Fall Out of Love To.[7][8] He later changed the name to Mura Masa.[9]

Recording[edit]

Crossan told about the recording of "Lovesick": "The first thing he [ASAP Rocky] said was that it made him feel really tropical, like he was in Ibiza or something and I was like, 'OK let's roll with that'. But then I said to him that it was about being stupid and feeling lovesick and hanging over a girl and he brought that to it as well. It was super fun, we hung out, smoked cigarettes, talked about fashion and Tame Impala."[7]

He also told about the recording of "1 Night": "I wanted to send Charli something that was poppier for me. But more of a left turn for her. I mean, she's a pop star and I'm not. You could say I make pop music, but there's something else going on there was well—it's not just brazen pop. But I thought it'd be fun to meet her halfway".[3] "Second 2 None" was recorded in few takes, with Crossan adding Christine and the Queens' harmonies after production.[10]

Crossan recorded the instrumental of "All Around the World" in 2016. While in Interscope Studios, Crossan received an email from "Desiigner's people" with the choruses and ad-libs for the track. Crossan and Desiigner worked on the song's lyrics later.[11] "Firefly" was recorded in 2015 for Someday Somewhere. It received attention when Crossan alleged the song was copied in "Be Alright".[12][13] As a result, Grande credited Crossan (as "Alexander Crossan") and Neo Joshua, the track's songwriters, as co-writers of "Be Alright".[14]

Music[edit]

The album's sound is described as pop,[15][16] EDM,[17][18] disco,[19] hip hop,[17] funk,[19] house[19] and tropical house.[20] It also draws influences from ambient,[3][16][18] trap,[18][21] dubstep[18] and bubblegum.[18] Crossan said this sound "comes from geographical isolation more than anything".[18]

Release[edit]

"Love for That", featuring vocals from British synth-pop musician Shura, was released as a buzz single for the album in October 2015,[22] but did not make the album's final cut. The album's lead single, "What If I Go?", was released in April 2016.[23] The album's second single "Lovesick", which features vocals from ASAP Rocky, was released in September 2016. "Lovesick" was originally released as an instrumental, entitled "Lovesick Fuck",[24] and was featured on Mura Masa's EP Someday Somewhere.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.3/10[25]
Metacritic78/100[26]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[21]
The Guardian4/5 stars[20]
The New York Times4/5 stars[27]
Mojo3/5 stars[26]
NME4/5 stars[19]
Pitchfork7.7/10[28]
The Skinny5/5 stars[15]
Tiny Mix Tapes1.5/5 marks[29]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, Mura Masa received an average score of 78, based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[26]

In his three-and-a-half star rated review for AllMusic, Paul Simpson claims that, "Musically, Crossan's work is a mix of various 'future' styles (bass music, trap, house, etc.), and he often combines light, sunny, island-like tones with lovesick, melancholy themes. His production style is expressive and detailed yet a bit restrained, rather than going for over the top maximalism at every opportunity."[21]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Drowned in Sound Favourite Albums of 2017
2017
81
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2017
2017
34

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Mura Masa.[28]

Digital download[32]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Messy Love"Alex Crossan3:45
2."Nuggets" (featuring Bonzai)
  • Crossan
  • Cassia O'Reilly
  • Jason Silva
3:29
3."Lovesick" (featuring ASAP Rocky)3:12
4."1 Night" (featuring Charli XCX)3:27
5."All Around the World" (featuring Desiigner)2:44
6."Give Me the Ground"Crossan1:07
7."What If I Go?" (featuring Bonzai)
  • Crossan
  • Rebecca Louise Jones
  • O'Reilly[33]
3:15
8."Firefly" (featuring NAO)3:48
9."Nothing Else!" (featuring Jamie Lidell)
3:26
10."Helpline" (featuring Tom Tripp)
3:24
11."Second 2 None" (featuring Christine and the Queens)4:10
12."Who Is It Gonna B" (featuring A. K. Paul)4:58
13."Blu" (featuring Damon Albarn)
  • Crossan
  • Albarn
4:32
Total length:45:17

Notes

  • "Lovesick" is stylised as "Love$ick".
  • "Give Me the Ground" is stylised as "give me The ground".
  • "Nothing Else!" is stylised as "NOTHING ELSE!".
  • "Helpline" is stylised as "helpline".

Sample credits[28][34]

  • "1 Night" contains samples of "Tahiti", composed and performed by Piero Piccioni.
  • "Firefly" contains samples of "Some Cut", performed by Trillville featuring Cutty.
  • "All Around the World" contains samples of "Who U Wit?", performed by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz.
  • "Nuggets" contains samples of "Love Is a Drug", performed by Shots of Awe.
  • "Second 2 None" contains samples of "Amen, Brother", performed by The Winstons.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[35] 49
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[36] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[37] 176
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[38] 55
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[39] 86
Irish Albums (IRMA)[40] 50
Japanese Albums (Billboard Japan)[41] 82
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[42] 35
Scottish Albums (OCC)[43] 85
UK Albums (OCC)[44] 19
US Billboard 200[45] 192
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[46] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  2. ^ "See The Full List Of 60th GRAMMY Nominees". GRAMMY.com. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c Stone, Avery (10 July 2017). "Mura Masa Will Teleport Your Brain into the Future of Pop". Noisey. Vice Media. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  4. ^ Dukoff, Spencer (13 July 2017). "Meet Mura Masa, the streaming era wunderkind marching to the beat of his own drum machine". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Soundtrack To A Death". Bandcamp. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Someday Somewhere - EP by Mura Masa". iTunes. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b Rindner, Grant (14 December 2016). "Mura Masa is sure to be massive". DIY. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Mura Masa Announces Upcoming Album in Recent Interview". runthetrap.com. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  9. ^ Lowe, Zane (25 April 2017). "Listen to "Zane Lowe and Mura Masa"". Apple Music. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  10. ^ Buerger, Megan (12 July 2017). "Songs We Love: Mura Masa, 'Second 2 None (Feat. Christine And The Queens)'". NPR. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  11. ^ Madden, Sidney (14 July 2017). "Studio Session: Mura Masa Calls on ASAP Rocky and Desiigner for New Self-Titled Album". XXL. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Producer alleges Ariana Grande's new single a 'rip-off' of his track". News.com.au. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  13. ^ Hutchinson, Emily (26 March 2016). "Ariana Grande Accused Of Stealing 'Be Alright' — Listen & Decide". Inquisitr. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman". Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  15. ^ a b Sully, George (14 July 2017). "Mura Masa – Mura Masa". The Skinny.
  16. ^ a b Dandridge-Lemco, Ben (4 May 2017). "Meet Mura Masa, The British Producer Bringing The Internet's Oddities To Boundless Pop Songs". The Fader. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  17. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn (12 July 2017). "'Mura Masa' review: Debut album dances to a different island beat". Newsday. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Beta, Andy (11 July 2017). "Mura Masa: How 'Geographical Isolation' Spawned a Singular EDM Producer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d "Mura Masa – 'Mura Masa' Review". NME. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  20. ^ a b Aroesti, Rachel (14 July 2017). "Mura Masa: Mura Masa review – trop house brimming with nowness". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  21. ^ a b c Simpson, Paul (14 July 2017). "Mura Masa - Mura Masa | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  22. ^ Mura Masa (27 October 2015). "Mura Masa – Love For That feat. Shura (Official Video)". Retrieved 22 February 2017 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ MuraMasaVEVO (7 April 2016). "Mura Masa – What If I Go? (Official Video)". Retrieved 22 February 2017 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ Darville, Jordan (29 September 2016). "Mura Masa Taps A$AP Rocky For "Love$ick"". The Fader. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Mura Masa by Mura Masa reviews". 14 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  26. ^ a b c "Reviews and Tracks for Mura Masa by Mura Masa". 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  27. ^ Pareles, Jon (14 July 2017). "Mura Masa Wrestles Complex Emotions on His Major-Label Debut". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  28. ^ a b c Barlow, Eve (18 July 2017). "Mura Masa: Mura Masa album review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  29. ^ Corrigan, B. "Mura Masa - Mura Masa". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of 2017". Drowned in Sound. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  31. ^ "NME's Albums of the Year 2017". NME. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Mura Masa by Mura Masa". iTunes. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  33. ^ a b c d ACE. "ACE Repertory". Ascap.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  34. ^ "Mura Masa". WhoSampled. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  35. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mura Masa – Mura Masa" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mura Masa – Mura Masa" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Mura Masa – Mura Masa" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  39. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Mura Masa – Mura Masa" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  40. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 21 July 2017". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  41. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums - Charts - Billboard JAPAN". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  42. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  43. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  44. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  45. ^ "Mura Masa Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  46. ^ "Mura Masa Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2017.

External links[edit]