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August 04, 2016 at 07:53 PM EDT
We gave it a B+

Although he is just now releasing his debut album, DJ Snake (born William Grigahcine) has been dropping beats on the club world since 2009. The French DJ-producer worked on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Artpop albums, but made a name for himself as an artist with the 2014 hit “Turn Down for What,” a monster banger with Lil Jon that put trap music on the worldwide map. He scored another Top 10 hit with “Lean On,” a collaboration with Major Lazer, in 2015.

And now, Encore keeps the party rocking while barely missing a dance step. Featuring a host of guest artists—from Skrillex and Justin Bieber to Jeremih and Travis Scott—the LP plays like a club set smoothly mixed by DJ Snake. The album has already produced a hit in “Middle,” a breezy twirler that achieves after-hours airiness with British singer Bipolar Sunshine. (The latter also lends a dreamy vocal to the blissed-out “Future Pt. 2.”)

But there are more sure-fire singles on Encore, with “Sober” being the best of all. “You never call me when you’re sober,” sings a “love-drunk” John Ryan (Pitbull’s “Fireball”) over a galloping groove that provides a heady rush. It’s a smash waiting to happen. Meanwhile, “Let Me Love You” —a pulsing, heart-on-sleeve plea that continues the roll that Bieber has been on—is pop perfection. But DJ Snake mixes up the more radio-friendly fare with harder electronic assaults that show he hasn’t lost his edge. “Sahara,” which pairs him with fellow DJ-producer Skrillex, pummels like a jackhammer, while “Propaganda” is an industrial-strength instrumental that piles on the EDM drama. The only real misstep comes with “Oh Me Oh My,” a droning trap track featuring Scott, Migos and G4shi. The song may not “shut the club down,” as it attests, but Encore makes a strong case for doing just that.

KEY TRACKS:

“Sober”

A euphoric high that is instantly addictive.

“Here Comes the Night”

The trippy, cathartic closer featuring Mr. Hudson.

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