After releasing EP after EP, dubstep and EDM superstar Skrillex finally got around to releasing his debut album, but before making any assumptions about this debut's weight or sense of purpose, know that Recess was leaked via a video game app, a Skrillex-approved Asteroids clone called Alien Ride. Flashy fun with kinetic stuff happening all about, this good-time ride of an album is certainly suited for being leaked by a video game, coming on strong and silly with "All Is Fair in Love and Brostep," a bass-drop bonanza with Jamaican dancehall duo Ragga Twins taking the tune into Major Lazer territory. The Twins return for the like-minded "Ragga Bomb," a dubstep stunner although a redundant one, pointing out perhaps why the supernova Skrillex prefers the EP format at this stage. The album's diverse guest list goes a long way when it comes to LP-required levels of variety, plus when an indie crooner from Passion Pit (Michael Angelakos) rubs shoulders with a barking pop-rapper (Fatman Scoop) and it works, the album's title track deserves praise of Diplo proportions. Speaking of the Mad Decent/Major Lazer boss, Diplo's here on the bumping highlight "Dirty Vibe," while other EDM favorites like Kill the Noise stop by to pump up the volume in earnest. Still, this already busy album becomes even busier with so many cooks in the kitchen, and shoots off nonstop fireworks as if this was Skrillex's audio variety special, sponsored by the wing of the stereo industry that sells, re-cones, or fixes subwoofers. This is an official debut on size alone and comes from a man who already staked his claim, so grab one of his earlier EPs for a quick fix that's more thrilling and streamlined, then take Recess' title as an indication of its mindset. Reckless fun, frivolous thrills, and fast, loud friends fill this one.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries