Shangri-La (DFA)

Yacht waste no time letting their freak flag fly on their fifth album. On the first two cuts, "Utopia" and "Dystopia," the Portland electro-pop group moves from hyperactive alien frolic to end-of-the-world incantations. Owing as much to the B-52's kitschy humor as it does to Of Montreal's digital future, Yacht turn heavy themes into weightless fun with bursts of musical spontaneity. Like label boss James Murphy, Yacht's Jona Bechtolt plasters mantras and trance-like beats all over Shangri-La. "Beam Me Up" may or may not be a Star Trek reference, but once the fiery chorus kicks in, all nerdy associations are excused by the electro-funk madness. Yacht bring it all back to Earth on the album-closing title track with a '60s sway and definitive declaration: "If I can't go to heaven, let me go to L.A."

Danielle Sills


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