After a long period of just simply gestating single-track releases on music streaming platforms, Skrillex finally decided to release two albums in 2023. This is the second of such releases, being his third album. This is a more Emo Rap and more urban based musical release. Just to be clear, Skrillex didn’t invent Dubstep, there were many talented and excellent musicians making such tunes in what is now known as proto-Dubstep, which itself was derived from Drum and Bass music. That means that the music at hand went back a long way in modern and postmodern times. Regardless, a new release by Skrillex? It should be interesting to hear nonetheless. Let’s tune in and hear this comeback album, and we should hear if it is any good.

Don’t Leave Me Like This is a dual effort with Skrillex and Bobby Raps. It’s a weird one, with cut-up and pitch-shifted vocals that are multitracked. Skrillex wanted to make a mission statement to state his presence in the music scene in 2023, at least. It is very futuristic and quirky and is a very good piece, which sounds like a musical plea. Skrillex aka Sonny Moore wanted people to understand why he is here: to make some decent EDM music. It ends with some speech sampled from a TV commentator. Great stuff.

Way Back features PinkPantheress and Trippie Redd. It begins with some decent Rapping, musical guitar loops and a great montage of sound present here. Soon enough, some autotuned female vocals enter from PinkPatheress. This is instantly very, very good and sounds much better than anything on Recess, Skrillex’s previous album release. Skrillex seemingly has gone through a huge amount of rough times in his own life, and the Rapping from Trippie Redd is excellent here. Some original and amazing sounds are present throughout, and this album is already a winner. A nice and futuristic sound montage.

Selecta features BEAM. It begins with the most tripped-out sounds one can think of, before launching into a more straight-ahead song that sounds excellent. An amazing and forward thinking tune with some decent Rapping from BEAM, this does have many layers (and hours spent making) decently intellectual music that sounds awesome. A really cool and awesome listening experience that sounds quirky, intellectual and very mellow in its own way, this is light years away from the now primitive Acid House scene of the late 1980s. It’s more upbeat but sounds really fantastic all the same, and fits extremely well onto the album. Skrillex is back, and the music here is divine. An excellent piece of music.

Ceremony is an effort between Skrillex, Yung Lean and Bladee. This is a strange tune with some cut-up guitars, and cut-up breakbeats and sounds very, very pretty. It is a great contemporary EDM Rap piece that sounds really awesome and nicely executed. Skrillex and company make a good sound, although the vocal take is not the best here, even with autotune present. Some gorgeous instrumentation is present, and this is moody futurism for those who need something to mellow out with an intense hangover from the night before. This sounds lyrically intense with a large dash of romanticism. A very lovely and pretty tune, this is not time wasted. Skrillex is back and has made an excellent artistic contribution, complete with a piano that sounds like a harp. A wonderful piece of songcraft, nice to listen to. It ends with a sample of a movie speech and some pleasant melodies. Great.

Real Spring is a collaboration between Skrillex and Bladee. It is a very Eastern sounding musical piece, with some interesting vocals, featuring Skrillex himself on vocals as well. Very much a digital ballad, it is heavily drenched in melancholy and emotional appeal. This is a gorgeous piece of music that does sound really excellent. The cut-up, spliced and diced vocals on this tune are really amazing. In an increasingly dystopian and nightmarish postmodern world, Skrillex saves the day musically. A gorgeous and listenable tune, it ends with reverb drenched vocals and the sounds of birds chirping. Nice stuff.

Summertime features fellow Rapper Kid Cudi. It sounds like a drug-induced dream at the beginning of the song, and Kid Cudi launches into some warm and smooth vocals. Trap beats enter, and this thing gets launched into action. Instantly, this sounds like a tripped-out and a wake-and-bake sort of piece, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing. Regardless, this is excellent, brilliant and catchy. Worth many repeat listens, this sounds incredibly well and lovely to hear. A great and interesting tune, if only the Hippies back in the 1960s were aware that the music of today is still surreal. Brilliant.

Bad For Me features Corbin and Chief Keef. It begins with some Emo Rap sounding music, quickly launching into another straightforward postmodern Rap tune. Again, this is great to hear, although it is admittedly a weaker addition to this album. Nonetheless, this does sound supercharged and serves as a warning to a lover. An excellent piece of music, although it is very formulaic on this album. Still, it sounds very enjoyable for a 2023 release. Skrillex obviously did not waste any time in between album releases, he has succeeded on this album for the most part. The autotuned vocals are rather annoying, but that is fairly normal to hear these days. A good tune, without being a great one.

3am features Prentiss and Anthony Green. It begins with some more layered sounds added in for maximum effect, including cut-up vocals. It is a great piece of music about longing for a lover in the early hours of the morning. This likely relates to some real-life experiences had by Skrillex himself. Nonetheless, this is a short, interesting and singalong piece of music that registers really well. A magical and beautiful listen, the vocals by Prentiss are gorgeous and amazing. Very relatable for the house party that didn’t go to plan, the music is still ridiculously good, albeit being fairly minimal and repetitive. It still works wonderfully. This ends with some pleasant falsetto vocals and more cut-up and equally pleasant melodicism. Excellent.

Don’t Go features both Justin Bieber and Don Toliver. It begins with some loose electronics, some real bass guitar playing and has Justin Bieber launching into singing here. It sounds highly unusual and trippy. Justin Bieber delivers a great vocal performance here, and he puts in his most memorable performance for many years. Skrillex’s production and musicality match this. Don Toliver’s performance here is also very stunning. This is a song about asking a lover not to leave in some very direct terms, over a piece of awesome music and musicianship. There are bongos here as well. Obviously, those who hadn’t been paying attention to Skrillex’s music should do so now. Excellent song.

Don’t Get Too Close features Bibi Bourelly. It begins with some very unusual percussion sounds that are mysteriously eastern, and this continues on nicely for some time. A very tripped-out piece of music, more like DMT than LSD though here in its overall sound. The sounds are deeply linked in with Electronic territory, and it does sound amazing and marvellous for what it is, quite like Ambient music in its own way. Soon enough, Bibi Bourelly launches into singing which is very simple and beautiful. An extraordinary piece of digital beauty, this sounds very pretty and magical to hear. The lyrical delivery isn’t the best, although the vocal part is. With some stupid interjections that ruin an otherwise good tune, Skrillex gets singing well here as well. A weird piece of music, but a good one, it falls apart a little with its pretentiousness here. “Don’t get too close, nobody loves me…” finishes the track. Skrillex obviously has some emotional issues here, having said all that.

Mixed Signals features Swae Lee. It launches into a rather awful sounding tune which really needs a bit of a rethink. It does fit the album well, but removed from it on its own, it isn’t as coherent musically as one may think. Regardless, this tune is an interesting listen and it seems like Skrillex, again, has some regrets in his personal life. In any case, this is a really nice piece of Electronic mastery. It sounds very 2023 and has a touch of the cut-up Amen breakbeat. Good, although lacking.

Painting Rainbows has Bibi Bourelly again and is the final track on this album. It is a better piece than what has come before. It’s a very Justin Bieber sounding piece of music, unsurprisingly. Soon enough, Bibi Bourelly sings with nasty lyrics and great musicality here. A refreshing take on postmodern Pop/Rap, this does sound cleverly done, even if the album is a little hit-and-miss at times. There is a catchy vocal sample throughout, and Bibi Bourelly sounds really awesome here. With lyrics that are very hedonistic and party-loving, this is a mellow comedown from the likes of Bangarang from earlier on in Skrillex’s career. A good finish to a mostly very good album, and something that easily defines 2023 throughout. The outro is spacey and weird.

Skrillex has made a very good comedown album. In fact, this is the musical equivalent of a massive drug and alcohol induced hangover from the night after a crazy party at a nightclub. Not every track here is perfect, but the album for the most part flows nicely and there are some otherworldly sounds here. Should you listen to this album? Certainly, especially if you enjoy postmodern Electronic music with a good dose of Rap that sounds innovative and moody. Highly recommended.

A good listen from a dark place.