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Dallas Austin Experience: 8Dazeaweakend

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Serving as the soundtrack to Dallas Austin's new film of the same name, 8Dazeaweakend tells the story of a confused, trust-funded Atlanta girl who decides to party her brains out over the weekend before going in to see a psychiatrist on Monday morning. The album is full of electro-influenced hip-hop songs layered with electric guitars, almost all of them featuring big, energizing hooks. Austin doesn't just produce but writes, sings and plays keyboard on many of the tracks, and he's backed by a diverse cast, including George Clinton, Big Gipp (Goodie Mob) and Colin Munroe. The retro-minded work features a lot of vague talk about peace, love and happiness, as well as samples of acts like Steve Miller and Electric Light Orchestra. (The raved-out rendition of Miller's "Serenade" works surprisingly well.) There's nothing especially deep or contemplative here, but as a party record it can't be beat. (Universal Motown) 4 stars out of 5

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