• Record Label: Downtown
  • Release Date: Jun 16, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The results are impressive standard-bearers for dancehall, displaying the duo's ample facility for floating the type of productions that have made dancehall the most experimental and extreme type of commercial dance music since it dawned in the mid-'80s.
  2. This might sound like a blunder, but Diplo can never be criticized for not being adventurous enough; though he can be criticized, magnanimously, for Major Lazer.
  3. Happily so, as well, as any adherence to the backstory would ruin what's simply the best dumbass party album of the summer.
  4. As with any good experiment the failures are almost as important as the successes. The old school reggae and the auto-tuned idiocy are utterly redundant, as pointless as water in whisky. There are four or five properly innovative and exciting tunes here.
  5. Despite the occasional filler and silliness, Guns Don’t Kill People...Lazers Do! takes dancehall, club music and a genre that can probably best be described as “Diplo” to new and very interesting places.
  6. It's to Diplo and Switch's enormous credit that the style is fully authentic, the party in full swing the whole way through.
  7. If you have to buy one painfully esoteric, scrotum-tighteningly hip, show-off album this year, you may want to make it this one.
  8. The large cast of vocalists are quite upfront in the mix, and the quality of the songs tends to depend on their talent, but for the most part it’s a strong collection of bangers, with few missteps.
  9. By virtue of its sheer irreverence, Guns Don't Kill... seems to encapsulate everything you always loved about reggae, and perhaps thought had disappeared.
  10. The production overall is impeccable and the sequencing shrewd; the tracks feel visceral and visual--you can almost see them as they hurtle by. The album’s overall effect is less deafening than blinding.
  11. Whatever the case, he and Switch are kicking off summer with an armful of perfect cookout-, top down-ready songs, like the daytime soundtrack equivalent of all of the summertime night's rooftop music that's been coming from Swedes Air France and the Tough Alliance and their new wave of American indie disciples, such as Real Estate and Memory Cassette in the past year-plus.
  12. Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do marks the evolution of two artists hemmed in by specific genres of their own creation, and sees them push the boundaries of expectation and experimentation a little to the left.
  13. A front-to-back play of Guns may not work for a dorm-room style throwdown, but it is a successful album of dancehall tracks that shows good teamwork within this collaboration.
  14. Q Magazine
    The result is a vibrant hybrid of bass-heavy beats and ragga toasting that echoes the digital dub revolution that swept through reggae in the mid '80s. [Aug 2009, p.109]
  15. It is just so much plain fun to bump loud, sing-a-long to and back it up on various people. Wicked.
  16. The biggest fun is hearing Diplo and Switch go off the leash, mixing surf guitar and horse whinnies, bong burbles and air horns. By the end, they're Auto-Tuning a baby's wail, clearly high enough, artistically, to try anything.
  17. Guns comes with a plot that has absolutely no bearing on the album's songs or list of guest collaborators. That its ostensible backstory makes for little more than some colorful, comic-inspired cover art keeps the album's focus where it should be: on some of the year's most compelling beats.
  18. 70
    The shotgun rhythms, spaghetti western guitars, and dubstep explosions intertwine with lover's rock, roots reggae, and other island styles to impressively evoke the pair’s genre-splicing DJ sets.
  19. Guns is a fun album, made for fun people, but that doesn’t mean that instants of awkwardness don’t result.
  20. A few songs in, I was reminded that I hate mixtapes--or at least, I find it hard to make it all the way through them, especially when they're made by other people and especially when they're filled with weak endless dub reggae.
  21. The album sometimes feels like a cherrypicking trawl through 40 years of Jamaican musical history, but it's all done with such energy and flair that it's difficult not to obey instructions and shake your bottom frenetically.
  22. Under The Radar
    What starts as an Avalanches-like ring-tone gallop ultimately blows its load on dancehall-robo sex. [Summer 2009, p.73]
  23. 90
    The guys do an incredible job of combining both the “Diplo” and “Switch” styles with that of Major Lazer, while still paying respect to a genre they clearly love.
  24. 70
    Diplo and Switch clearly cherish the glitches and low-tech glory of vintage Jamaican music. But they’re much better off when re-imagining as opposed to indulging in tongue-in-cheek mimicry.

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