Eleven years after releasing her breakbeat-pop debut Learning Curve, producer/DJ/incredibly slow songwriter DJ Rap returned with Synthesis, an album that’s stuffed with the same strong-willed, spiritually minded lyrics as her previous full-length, but oh, how the beats have changed. They’ve changed not for the better, not for the worse, but for the more chilled, as trip-hop, pop, and even a little house have come into play, leaving drum’n’bass as a minor influence on some cuts, and that’s stretching it. “Now something’s changed/Life’s rhythm rearranged” she states on soft-glitch ballad “Finally Get to You” which recalls Zero 7, while “Give It All Away” and it’s widescreen view of life brings reminders of the album’s other touchstone artist, Madonna, in her Ray of Light era. Returning fans looking for the open-minded dreamer of Learning Curve will find plenty of evidence that Rap’s eyes are still pointed toward the heavens, but she can also still turn no-nonsense in a whip crack, sneering “People like you end up taking the piss/But take it from me, Karma’s a bitch” during “In Your Corner” as if she was electro’s Alanis Morissette. Rap and Chevy Bhorntus handle the production, which is glossy, rich, and worth a headphone listen to catch all the details. Well done and rewarding, just don’t expect the old boom-bap.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries