As one of early 2017's most anticipated rap moments begins, we've been told time and again – the C U L T U R E album is coming soon. Ever ahead of the moment, Migos seem set on even outpacing themselves – goofily positioning their second LP as a sort of time vortex.

If their major label debut felt tentative, there's no uncertainty to be found here. Directly following the time teasing intro, all three singles-turned-anthems are presented, right in a row (‘T Shirt’, ‘Call Casting’, ‘Bad & Boujee’). The message is clear: “oh, these are the songs you know and like? Well, get ready for the rest, already.” Maximum confidence is displayed right off the bat. It's a more pointed move than one might consider. Rap albums as party fodder are too often treated as disposable, singles already presumed as highlights, strategically peppered throughout a whole that would sag without their support. Migos see no need for a limit to the fun, and invite you in with familiarity, guiding you right into the consistency that follows throughout the album.

The playfulness of the singles is not a mood that subsides – unlike Yung Rich Nation, which, while solid, sanded down some of the group's inherent weirdness - the young Atlanta gentlemen's eccentricities are on full display here. The carefree, goofy reverb on ‘Call Casting’ and Quavo's delirious, ceaseless wailing in the background of ‘T Shirt’ are just the beginning.

In fact, the most visible member, Quavo, persists humming and singing his heart out, often seemingly at random, throughout much of the album. As Quavo grew into one of hip hop's go to hook-smiths – gracing records by T.I., Kanye to 2 Chainz in recent memory – the question as to just how much he might dominate any forthcoming Migos studio effort loomed. To his credit, he essentially ignores his solo star potential here, keeping things entirely Clipse circa 2006. That he doesn't much choose to provide the sort of showstopping choruses he'd been offering across the board throughout 2016 is intriguing, and might be a tad perplexing were the results without them not so successful.

In dodging his own movement, he ensures Migos' brand remains something special. As ‘Get Right Witcha’ dashes free of the 3 singles that precede it, it's instantly clear the ride has just begun. Its twinkling beat and ear worm chorus infecting playlists without having to dial the energy past a job, before jetting off into space for the nearly eerie, alien like ‘Slippery’. Here, Quavo is right back to his sporadic humming - always to great effect.

The album continues to avoid another party rap pitfall: the monochrome mood. One of its most memorable, and startling, moments comes in the dour ‘What the Price’. Tellingly, this is the closest Quavo comes to one of his aforementioned signature hooks, saved for a grim ballad on the reality of wealth. It is – or should be – a gloomy affair, but the refrain (“Prices, prices, prices”) is as likely to stick in your mind as any tune found here.

Not content to coast from that peak, ready-made club anthem ‘Deadz’ follows after a brief Zaytoven go-between, with the ever-present 2 Chainz delivering yet another side-stitch of a verse following his 2016 hot streak (“Got dames by the double / Do everything but cuddle”). Yet, the younger hosts refuse to be shown up, with Takeoff and Offset both following with perhaps their most energetic verses on the album.

They are planting a clear flag: this is Migos' show. They may have been gracious hosts to peers and elders, but not a single guest appearance was needed here. If anything – Chainzs verse aside – the guests here barely register; Lil Uzi Vert simply serving as unison in new generation heroes on ‘Bad & Boujee’; and Travis Scott's appearance on simply being regrettable. When he stumbles in on ‘Kelly Price’ dully insisting, “My bitch got lethal parts, a lethal heart,” and imagining cocaine in his hair is lice, it's a true testament to the showmanship on display from Migos that he doesn't manage to kill any momentum. There's just no stopping it, this is Migos recognizing just how grand of an impact they've had on the culture, and as our world hurtles further into a pathetic mess – amidst the justly seething political rap already popping up – Migos just want to give us a good time, perhaps one last time.