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Dillon Francis ‘Money Sucks, Friends Rule’ – Album Review

Columbia (2014)

Having originally set a release date of early 2013, Los Angeles superstar DJ Dillon Francis finally gets round to unveiling the debut album he’s described as “the bane of my existence,” aka Money Sucks, Friends Rule.

The 27-year-old’s first studio effort may have been a little more torturous to piece together than he’d have liked, but packed with club bangers that cleverly bridge the gap between his speaker-blasting electro-house roots and the poppier end of the dance spectrum, it’s a record which proves that his slaving away has largely paid off.

The hard-hitting beats, scuzzy synths and Twista’s breakneck-speed rhymes on opener “All That,” which is swiftly followed by the Middle Eastern-inspired trap of DJ Snake collaboration “Get Low,” initially suggests we’re in for a ride that is at least as wild as Money Sucks, Friends Rule’s garish neon-colored artwork.

But although Dillon Francis certainly hasn’t shied away from the kind of floor-shaking anthems upon which he’s built his name – the robotic electro of “Not Butter” wastes no time by kicking off with one of the most almighty bass drops you’ll hear all year, while the twitchy big room house of “Set Me Free” and raucous hypeman chants of “What’s That Spell” are also likely to keep the fratboy brigade happy – there are also several more melodic offerings which suggest that the elusive crossover hit is imminent.

Featuring guest vocals by The Chain Gang of 74, “When We Were Young” evokes the soaring hands-in-the-air EDM-pop of Swedish House Mafia’s signature hit, “Don’t You Worry Child.” Another unlikely collaborator, Panic at the Disco’s Brendan Urie, adds a similarly emo vibe to the slow-motion grooves of “Love in the Middle of a Firefight,” while “We Are Impossible,” a hook-up with Aussie synth-pop duo The Presets, is an unexpected venture into early 80s new wave.

Dillon Francis recently climbed 19 places to No. 54 on the annual DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, and Money Sucks, Friends Rule indicates that a similarly lofty climb shouldn’t be out of the question next time around.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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