Over the years, RAC's André Allen Anjos found many different ways of blending pop, indie, and dance, earning himself a Grammy Award along the way. EGO, his second full-length, feels like a culmination of his music; a seamless fusion of influences, collaborations, and memories, it resembles one continuously morphing, 60-minute song more than a traditional album. Anjos builds EGO's arc carefully and gradually: he begins the album with the serene warmth of "Fever," which tempers EDM's euphoric rush into something gentler and more personal -- this is music for the afterparty, or the day after the party. Similarly, "Nobody"'s winsome nostalgia proves that acoustic guitars and strings are just as important to Anjos' music as revved-up synths. Later, he winds the album down with "Heavy," a downright folky collaboration with former RAC member Karl Kling before a computerized voice recites a seemingly infinite mantra of "Am I happy?" on "End." Perhaps reflecting EGO's title, some of the best moments in between happen to feature the most distinctive vocalists. Chief among them is Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, whose guitar heroics and eternally youthful, searching vocals serve as inspiration on "I Still Wanna Know." MNDR and K. Flay respectively add some laid-back cool to "Unusual"'s tropical pop and the dreamy "Heartbreak Summer," while Joywave and St. Lucia's contributions to "No One Has to Know" and "The Beautiful Game" help make these the album's poppiest songs. Given the album's length, a little more variety might have been nice, but EGO is still a very listenable, cohesive journey, and some of Anjos' most heartfelt music.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares