Deadmau5, " album title goes here " (Ultra)
Deadmau5's new anti-titled electronic dance music album, " album title goes here ," is a lot of things. It's a thumping dance tapestry. It's pockmarked with features from the likes of Cypress Hill and Imogen Heap. And it also underscores Deadmau5's global reach and feel.
It just isn't very good.
The album from the Mickey Mouse mask-wearing electronic dance music vet pushes no boundaries that weren't already pushed 10 years ago. From Joel Zimmerman, better known to his considerable fan base as Deadmau5, the lack of creativity is a sin.
There are scores of EDM specialists crafting new approaches these days, from Grammy-winning Skrillex to live beat-maker AraabMuzik to up-and-comers like HeRobust. Amid their inventive progressions, Deadmau5's latest album feels a tad old and dusty.
"Superliminal" is all buildup and very little payoff. You'll be left waiting minutes for the drop, and perhaps scanning forward to the next track in hopes of getting the pulse racing. Good luck.
"Fn Pig" is one of the few tracks on board with some sizzle. It's an eight-minute track that teases you for the first two before any semblance of a proper beat emerges. But once it gets going the bass line grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go. It's an addictive, repeat-worthy track.
But mostly, we find Deadmau5 longing for some sort of house music yesteryear. On "Maths," the corny digital samples feel extremely dated and required a much smarter approach than this.
Check this out: "Closer" cleverly borrows the five-note sequence used by scientists to talk to alien visitors in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." It blends well into this breezy track as synth stabs bounce around in the background.