Martin Solveig, "Smash" (Big Beat Records)
With his boyish looks and catchy tunes, it was just a matter of time before Martin Solveig made it to the big leagues, aka the United States. The French-born electronic DJ-producer has been toiling at the decks for almost two decades before catching both America's ear with his outgoing "Hello" and Madonna's, for whom he produced three tracks on her latest album, "MDNA," including the hit "Give Me All Your Luvin.'" Solveig also worked as the house DJ at this year's MTV Movie Awards.
With the U.S. release of his fifth studio album, "Smash," Solveig wins the award for the longest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean: The album has been out in Europe for more than a year. Although it starts out as largely homogenous and nerve-dulling with its unrelenting beats, the album manages to smash through the blood-brain barrier and infect the listener with its optimistic vibe and fun lyrics.
Canadian electro-pop band Dragonette snaps up most of the dance-inducing collaborations. You cannot stop listening to "Can't Stop," and the playful "Boys and Girls," where Solveig and Dragonette's frontwoman court one another, is the most fun they'll ever have without stripping off their nuance.
Overall, "Smash" is likable, but the 13-track record is disappointingly one-quarter remixes of Solveig's bigger hits. The successful "Big in Japan" and the international jam "Hello" are gung-ho harmless, but not the best listings on the sleeve. And "Get Away From You" is a strange throwback to 1990s British punk rock, though Solveig imbues it with appealing synth.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "Ready to Go" kicks you in high gear right from the get-go.
Follow Cristina Jaleru on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cristinelle7