RJD2, ‘The Colossus’ (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
The Colossus should remind everyone how talented DJ-producer Ramble John Krohn was before he crafted the award-winning Mad Men theme. It’s his finest album since 2002’s instrumental hip-hop classic Deadringer, balancing punchy funk (“Let There Be Horns”) with soul ballads (“Games You Can Win,” featuring pensive vocals from Kenna). And yes, RJ is singing again; but unlike 2007’s self-indulgent The Third Hand, here he wisely picks his spots, chirping a few modest ditties. Four albums deep, he’s found his comfort zone.
LISTEN: RJD2 album preview