From the thuggiest to the clubbiest; to the fuzzy boot-donned tweens and the homeboys in baggy jeans; every last one of you knows deadmau5.
And whether you love, hate or could care less about him, the Canadian DJ, born Joel Zimmerman, is an electronic dance music rockstar of sorts. He’s EDM’s resident bad boy, a skinny white boy who’s the match of any gangsta rapper out there when it coms to trash talking, battling everyone from Madonna to any and all other DJs on the planet. Often it’s hard to separate his music from the larger-than-life persona he carefully crafts via social media. These glaring emotional roadblocks aside, with his newest offering, Album Title Goes Here, one thing is for sure, the sounds are big, and the album is gonna be big time.
He starts things off with an electronic explosion in the form of "Superliminal," the musical equivalent of a backhanded bitch-slap to the face. Although, fellow jockey Wolfgang Gartner guest produces on the following track, "Channel 42," there’s little doubt by now we're firmly in deadmau5 territory, with the marching beat, shrill synths and sub-bass rumbles proving practically unmistakable.
"The Veldt" is deadmau5’s (successful) attempt at creating a bonafide vocal anthem. He’s embraced a few sugary-sweet melodies, and newcomer Chris James’ soft vocals recall Owl City’s pop smash "Vanilla Twilight" from 2011, sounding somewhat like a love poem from America to the EDM revolution. “Happy life, with the machines… The world that the children made… Can you believe in machines?” Meanwhile, Professional Griefers sees deadmau5 courting the hard rockers. It’s the strong pop choruses featured in these tunes that will solidify an appeal of this album, which stretches well beyond the EDM faithful.
A smattering of oddness peaks through on "October," a more humdrum track that feels like mau5 is going through the motions instead of producing with passion. This matters a little less after "Failbait," a record tailor-made specifically for you, VIBE readers - a collaboration with everybody's favorite posse of stoned rappers Cypress Hill. It’s a beautiful marriage of heavy hip-hop breaks and the EDM dancefloor futurism.
Sonically and stylistically, Album Title Goes Here isn’t altogether that much different from deadmau5’s last three irreverently-titled albums. If you’ve ever heard a deadmau5 album, his latest production makes sure you know it’s him again. Nonetheless, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the mau5 has buffed, polished, shined and lacquered his explosive sound within an inch of its turbo-charged life. And as much as he might personally insist it’s just a collection of club singles he's cobbled together, there's a real range of sonic styles here, and it holds together better as an album than any of his previous efforts.
Like it or not, deadmau5 is a demon in the studio, and has an unholy gift for concocting bangers that are custom-built for maximum detonation. The album title can go here, there or anywhere, Zimmerman’s audience long ago drank the Professor Meowingtons pHd mixed Kool-Aid and will forever be stuck in his sonic mau5trap.
Snag it on iTunes.