RJD2’s been labeled a sample-happy hip-hop producer, an experimental indie rocker, or maybe just that guy who made the “Mad Men” theme. But on his excellent sixth solo album, we can simply enjoy what he truly is: a complete musician. What ties together the album’s broad range of sounds and styles is his driving creative spirit: Regardless of the constantly evolving mood, RJ finds new ways to surprise and engage your ears. “The Sheboygan Left” melts like a late summer sunset, chillwave synths giving way to brassy horn refrain, while “A New Theory” spreads the grime on thick. “Band of Matron Saints” teases at electro-jazz, then morphs into funky jukebox joint laced with fuzz guitar and organ. RJ sounds just as pleased pumping up “Peace of What” with bright, urgent pop energy as he does wistfully weaving warm strings into the contemplative “Pf, Day One.” There’s not much he can’t do, and there aren’t many who could resist the sonic wonders he offers on “Dame Fortune.”
ESSENTIAL “Band of Matron Saints”Martín Caballero can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @_el_caballero.