Album Review – Dillon Francis, Money Sucks Friends Rule

I have written about Dillon Francis before, namely because he is achieving great success as a (not so much anymore) up-and-coming disc jockey. He is also time-wastingly hilarious. I decided immediately to give his album a review/recommendation after hearing the first few tracks. My biggest compliment towards Francis would be how incredibly balanced the album is. The EDM is evident throughout but several other genres are made compatible with the tracks (including Hip-Hop and even Reggae).

I have plenty to say about the LP, mostly good but I will offer all of my opinions. With that out of the way, let’s break this album down track by track:

1. All That ft. Twista and The Rejectz – Already broke this song down here.

2. Get Low ft. DJ Snake – Turn Down For What guy makes another club-hopping dance-inducing twerk-busting hit. Dillon Francis has shown some serious pride in this song, and it was one of the album’s preceding singles. The lyrics are pretty much the same throughout, being “Get low, low (x279 or so)” then “Get low when the whistle blows” and everything just goes crazy. The hook is definitely the best part though. I actually do like this song a lot, though I would not say the whole album sounds like this, so do not let the Get Low fool you. 9.5/10

3. When We Were Young ft. Suitan + Ned Shephard, The Chain Gang of 1974 – Oh yeah, I can without a doubt say this is my favorite track on the album. If any song was going to go big, this would be it. The lyrics are actually meaningful (unlike many EDM songs sadly) and the vocals are incredibly solid while the bassline and beat are catchy and interesting. I have no complaints about this song, and it reminds me of so many different sounds of multiple artists. It captures several genres, and I doubt I will find a listener who does not like this song. It is quite perfect to my hearing. I have seen a lot of anger with this track for no reason and I have to testify by saying that you’re mad and go sit in the corner. Even if it is meant for radio play or not the usual Dillon Francis, it is one song and an experiment in which he succeeded. Rant over, rating start. 10/10

4.  Set Me Free ft. Martin Garrix – Garrix and Francis seemed to establish a great connection and I would hope to see these two work together again. People have said this song sounds basically like any other Garrix track, and I have to say – well, you’re right. But we still like it, right? I find this a purely vocal-less EDM piece that I can actually enjoy listening to. The hook seems to change direction midway, which feels just a bit off. I wish it had stuck with one aspect instead of going from one type of beat to a completely different. The second stanza is basically silent from the crazy upbeat hook, and the transition is a bit quick at times. I’ve harped enough on stupid stuff, still an awesome song and worth a listen. 8.75/10

5. Drunk All The Time ft. Simon Lord – Well, this honestly did not surprise me. At all. Actually this is really an amazing song. Simon Lord sounds superb, and keeps up with a very complex beat. In fact Francis almost dominates his voice at times, but the bassline and his work is so complete it sounds remarkable. A truly incredible song that gets you hyped, calms you down, that just brings you right back up. 9.75/10

6. Love in the Middle of A Firefight ft. Brendon Urie – Yes, he even brought in Panic! At The Disco. Well not everyone, but he brought Brendon Urie. When I said there was something for everyone on this album, I was not lying. Urie’s voice feels like it’s about to crack at times, which is a bit cough-inducing, but the song is catchy and upbeat. Any punk-pop fan will immediately act like they do not like it because they are non-open-minded little fu – fully opinionated people. The hook is not as exciting as the others but still gives you the Dillon Francis you love (yes you love him now, if you do not stop listening and move on please). 9.5/10

7. Not Butter – “Dillon Francis, we have you cornered. Now, alone, make us art!” Well, I will give him serious points for being original. Not Butter is just not what I was expecting from Francis’ first solo track on the album. There are some enjoyable parts, and even the sexual tension between Siri and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is pretty fascinating if not a bit creepy. The hook is disappointing, mostly due to the lead into it that just gets you so pumped. I know this is what people like most about Francis’ music, so I won’t say too much against it. I just feel a bit lukewarm towards it, like a bag of skittles at 8:00 AM on a school day. Is that the taste in my mouth I want from Francis? That came out wrong, let’s just rate the song and move on. 7.75/10

8. I Can’t Take It – I find this song much more interesting, and Francis proves that even when alone, he can make good music. I Can’t Take It is exciting and somehow has some insanely edited/slowed-down/attached to a defibrillator. This time the hook is really innovative and sounds like Dillon Francis without being skip-worthy. Not much else to say, sounds like an EDM junkie’s dream though. 9/10

9. We Are Impossible ft. The Presets – The bass throughout the verses can be annoying as anything, but the hook is incredible and lyrically inspirational. This is another radio bait-type song, but it works on me. I actually feel like without Francis this song would be really amazing too, props to The Presets for making this song great. 9.5/10

10. We Make It Bounce ft. Major Lazer and Stylo G – Basically Get Low 2.0, but there is a bit more of a reggae vibe to it. I’ve passed 1000 words so I won’t say much about it, except this stupid hook has been stuck in my head all day. Bounce, bounce, bounce…Get it out. Francis’ end also provides well on the hook, though I feel like the word “bounce” is mentioned more than the Black Eyed Peas say “Boom Boom Pow” at a middle school dance (Sorry forgot it isn’t 2008 anymore). 9.25/10

11. What’s That Spell? ft. TJR – A thing that annoys me is when artists do not put question marks in song titles that are questions. So thank you Dillon Francis for doing this. Extra points for you. Sadly the song is most likely my least favorite on the album, and while the hook really does well (though it sounds similar to a few of the others, namely Not Butter) it is just not enjoyable to listen to. It’s basically living out a concert, which can be fine and dandy for most, but to me the track did not live up to the hype the other songs set. At least the bassline is pretty catchy. Bum bum bum, bum bum bum (x245). 7.5/10

12. Hurricane ft. Lily Elise – And we are back to amazing songs again. This resembles Benny Benassi a lot, I almost starting singing Beautiful People, but oh well. It still is its own song, and the sound seriously sounds like Zedd’s Stay The Night. Francis is good at being original while learning from hits. There is hard to argue against this song other than its lack of originality a bit, which it actually is as the song progresses. Another one of my favorites on the album for sure, and an awesome way to end the LP. 9.75/10

So that averages out to somewhere around 9.25/10. Sadly a couple of songs really anchor this album’s score down, but Dillon Francis has truly made some incredible music here. His collaborations are really great, but I do feel like his own works alone could use a little work. There will be improvement in new sound and originality over time, as Francis is young and only just hitting success. I cannot wait to hear more and seriously recommend listening to at least anything with a 9 or above. Or better yet, stream the whole thing below:

-Austin Heath