A Color Map of the Sun - Pretty Lights
A Color Map of the Sun Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the fourth release for Colorado producer Derek Vincent Smith.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Aug 16, 2013
    It feels like the jazz/hip-hop album we've been waiting for. [No. 101, p.59]
  2. Jul 9, 2013
    Each ["sides" of the double LP] is so good, it’s a toss up between which incarnation you'll end up liking most.
  3. Jul 9, 2013
    Smith constructed these from vinyl pressings of live-band grooves he'd composed, and Disc Two is the grooves themselves--which have even more weight and resonance when left alone.
  4. 70
    The tracks, mostly in minor keys, are bass heavy, unhurried and unexpectedly thoughtful. Sonically as well as verbally, they set aside hip-hop swagger to contemplate how the present reconfigures the past.
  5. Aug 7, 2013
    For fans of Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun is an acceptable recreation of his wild live show, if nothing else. For those looking to get into the real contradiction of Smith, the album makes for a wonderful primer.
  6. Jul 9, 2013
    The result has to feel like a studio adventure! Whereas Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was lavishly rich, Smith’s treatment of his session players manages to flatten all human serendipity and rhythmic nuance.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 21, 2013
    I discovered Pretty Lights through his EP: Making Up A Changing Mind back in 2011. I have been a huge fan since and have enjoyed his music very much. Seeing that his next album he would compose himself instead of sampling others music I was a little sceptic. He released Around The Block and it was very good.
    I finally listened to the whole album on spotify the day it came out. Wow! This sounds awesome! Recomend this to anyone who likes good music. (PS. turn the volume up)
  2. Jul 16, 2013
    I'd give this album an 85 if I could because it falls short of his previous excellence on album's like "Filling Up The City Skies," but it's still an astounding accomplishment. The amount of work that went into this album is evident. The compositions of the musicians he worked with and his own production come together flawlessly to create an amazing soul-filled electronic journey. I'm also a much bigger fan of this album than the EP's that preceded it, you can feel the difference in depth. Expand
  3. Jul 23, 2013
    Derek Vincent Smith has consistently raised the bar with the attitude, feel, and resonance with his projects and music. This case is no exception. As unique and genre defining (glitch/soul/electronica/funk/sample) as you can imagine, this album offers the listener quite a lot. The album itself is mixed and mastered to sound organic and true to the era each track represents. You will find yourself entranced and lost in the melodies and harmonies that come straight from his mind.

    Beyond the album itself, Smith includes a collection of the live recordings, and I am guessing his favorite cuts from the entire recording process. It's a great value, undoubtedly.
  4. Jul 15, 2013
    If you like any sort of techno music, or have heard Pretty Lights before, you may or may not be impressed by this album. I, for one, enjoyed this progressive and experimental album. Pretty Lights (AKA Derek Smith) put exactly what he heard in his head, onto this record. If you like any sort of creative music, or alternative music, (or if you're a harsh critic, elevator music) you will love this album. Expand
  5. Aug 21, 2013
    Derek Vincent Smith is truly one of the most gifted producers of music I have ever across. He spans infinite genres, makes music that is easy to listen to and for every occasion. I appreciate his explorative nature of this cd and from a purely production standpoint, its genius. However, this album is filled with countless awkward breaks, beats and rhythms. There are 6 or 7 stand out gems from this album, which before now, I could not name a track he has made that is not pure flame.

    I respect the amount of time and effort he put into this work, but I am just not all that impressed with it. My expectations for him are always higher than the highest peaks and I feel he tried too hard on this release, trying to do to much with his own sound. I respect that he constantly that he is continuously innovating his music and his mentality on these tracks, but it lacks the usual PL originality that will have you nodding your head uncontrollably as you study for your next test, write your next paper, or patiently drudge through your daily commute.

    I have been listening to PL since the days of "Taking Up Your Precious Time" and been attending his live shows just as long. His music on this album, while has more depth and layers, lacks that completely original feel and vibe that you could just get down to. ACMOTS is more downtempo, which I appreciate and do love, but most of these tracks will surely bore the drugged out, frat boy crowd that has infested his once, amazingly lively and energetic live performances. If you're the type just looking for the next 'rager' to party with your boys to, do us all a favor and dont get into PL. Go to the next daft punk show, because you don't appreciate the music, you just want to party.

    A color map of the sun truly is a unique, exploratory dive into electronic music that is unlike any other, and much better than the generic techno sound that saturates the already played-out market. PL's music is for a special person who appreciates all the subtle hits, drops, samples, beats, vocals n breaks he dashes into his productions, and they will surely dig this album. I absolutely recommend you check out A Color Map of The Sun if you are a PL fan, but it is apparent he will likely never re-kindle the magic of his yesteryears.