Andre Allen Anjos, better known by stage name RAC, is perhaps best known for remixing a vast array of artists from the likes of Phoenix to Lady Gaga- notably, his remix of Bob Moses’ “Tearing Me Up,” garnering him the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording.
The Portland by way of Portugal DJ just released his sophomore studio album, Ego, and it has an infectious pop sound that’s sure to be a staple to many’s summer soundtrack.
These are the kind of songs one will whip their phone out to Shazam at the mall- picking up swimsuits and shades for warm excursions. With flawless vocal contributions from the likes of MNDR, Rivers Cuomo, Joywave, and K. Flay, these tracks are both diverse and cohesive.
Anjos has a knack for appealing to pop sensibility while maintaining nuance and intricacy- he taps into the collective reminiscences without relying on them. The complexity of his guitar riffs and piano arpeggios speak for themselves and are offset by explosive synth and choral progressions.
The whole album is drenched with hormones- at times, Ego gushes with sentimentality, invoking pangs teenage heartbreak, the smell of banana boat sunscreen, summer camp sun rises.
Issues of struggling with sobriety, maintaining one’s individuality, and battling self-doubt are addressed through lyrics directly, but the album never loses its feel good aesthetic.
It’s okay to let go, to feel good even when life isn’t so good to you- I get the sense that Andre had that message in mind when composing these tracks.
The concept of ego in the album is not braggadocios. There’s no arrogance to be sensed in this celebration of self- instead, Ego invites its listeners to celebrate themselves as well, from top to bottom.
Ego may not achieve the same level of critical acclaim that Strangers did in 2014, but it proves that RAC, an ever present yet underrated name in the scene, has staying power in an ever changing arena. Rife with empowering ballads, Ego might just be the soundtrack to summer that everyone needs.
LISTEN TO IT BELOW: