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Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty (Album Review)

A reverie, a DMT-fuelled wander through the subconscious of hip hop; whatever way you cut it, Lese Majesty is way out there. Shabazz Palaces’ sophomore release travels deep into the astral plane, fully armed with gelatinous synth globules, anomalous lyricism and untold confidence in their mission. The mission itself: shatter all preconceptions of what Shabazz Palaces are supposed to sound like while pandering to absolutely no one.

Lese Majesty has no hits to speak of, nothing you could easily extract and stick in a radio slot, which is kind of the essence of this album. It’s a piece, an installation of sound and thought. Each track drizzles into the next in a dreamlike fashion. “Forerunner Foray” is galactic grime that oozes into the poetic thumping of “They Come in Gold,” which then reforms as wistful synth interlude “Solemn Swears,” and so the album flows. Shabazz Palaces offer an ethereal conglomerate with a prophetic voice, a gutsy move that’s more than paid off here.