ALBUM REVIEW: Diplo presents Thomas Wesley – Chapter 1: Snake Oil

Diplo has stepped into a different light and wants to introduce himself to the world as the real man and artist behind the drops; Thomas Wesley. 

‘Chapter 1: Snake Oil’ is an experimental exploration into the way country music could be intertwined more authentically into pop and dance music. With the growing crossover trend becoming more successful over the years, the execution has started to become a bit one dimensional with similar sounds and structuring plaguing the songs. 

Through seeing the raw potential, Thomas Wesley wanted to shine a light into the versatility this genre can offer through this new record. But sadly, he completely misses the mark.

This record feels very safe from start to finish. While there are some standout moments, the energy and innovation is lacking in others and makes the short twelve track collection feel lengthy and self-indulgent. 

Previous singles, ’Heartless’ featuring Morgan Wallen & Julia Michaels, and ‘Lonely’ featuring the Jonas Brothers are the clear radio standouts, but ‘Hometown’ featuring Zac Brown Band & Danielle Bradberry is one of the albums hidden gems, and deserves a spot on top 40 radio. 

‘On Mine’ featuring Noah Cyrus is a perfect exploration of collaboration, while ‘Real Life Stuff’ featuring Julia Michaels & Clever is a songwriting golden nugget that embodies all the emotions of falling in love and wanting to do simple things with them. 

However some collaborations really didn’t work on this record. Dance With Me’ featuring Thomas Rhett and Young Thug is a tragedy in it’s own right with the collision of Latin and country music. And then don’t get me started on the creepy ‘Do Si Do’ featuring Blanco Brown which gives me serious predatory vibes. 

There was so much more that Diplo could’ve done with this album, and it feels like he just attacked it at a surface level approach instead of giving us the elaborate exploration that this should’ve been.