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Paul Epworth - Voyager review: An odyssey through space, hip-hop and Seventies science fiction

An odyssey through space, hip-hop and Seventies science fiction, Paul Epworth’s long-awaited debut instantly proves itself to be well worth the wait. While the album is Epworth’s first, he is far from a newcomer and even if you’ve never heard the name, it’s impossible to have missed his previous work.

One of the music industry’s most sought-after producers, Epworth already has five Grammy wins and one Oscar to his name (the latter thanks to Adele’s Bond theme Skyfall) and counts everyone from Florence + the Machine and Bloc Party to Rihanna as previous collaborators.

This time around though, the hits are in his name and Voyager sees Epworth delve deep into his own inspirations. Opener Mars & Venus sets the tone with a lift-off intro, slick catchy beat and verses from Vince Staples. The cosmic themes persist — highlights include the cinematic interlude OBX and house-influenced, dancefloor-ready title track — but the record never flags across its 15 songs.

The delightful, hopeful finale Space Inc. samples jazz act Sun Ra and pays homage to filmmakers including Stanley Kubrick, while imagining a world where alien corporations save the human race from its current existence. We can only dream, right?