To review this release means to also review Joel Zimmerman, the man behind the music that has divided listeners into fans and haters whose favourite topic is to compare his likeness to Skrillex. The problem with this album is that it was always bound to be contentious, which Zimmerman perhaps knew or even wanted. Recently quoted by SPIN saying "what better motivator to get somebody to do something than to piss them off?” Deadmau5 has a counter-culture attitude that at the same time feeds the very culture of which he is in.
Released following the fallout of that Madonna outburst (yes you know it) amidst a climate that is now considered by some as the over-commercialised electronic music scene, > album title goes here < is as much of a carefully produced product as it is of an ode to where it comes from.
To put it simply, at face value it is compilation of long tracks with long intros and long repetitive breakdowns. This is opposed to his previous albums that also do not feature ‘proper’ titles but their upbeat techno style has been turned down in favour of a more progressive house mix.
Because there aren’t a great number of tracks with lyrics, you do need to be in the right mind frame to listen to some that could otherwise be described as plain noise. Maths could be the best of the album, or make you just feel like slamming your head into a brick wall after the third minute when you realise there’s still another four to go. There’s a lack of euphoric voices on this album and you may be surprised on your first listen to "Professional Griefers (featuring Gerard Way)" when you hear 'Girls with guns on LSD' yelled into your ear but this is a track too which grew on me after the first listen.
However among the 13-track collection, there are standouts that are easily digestible with "Veldt" already proving to be popular and "October" having nice evolving motifs throughout. "Telemiscommunications" with Imogen Heap is a good listen and a bit of a venture for Deadmau5 with the apparent simplicity making it almost seem like an easy feat to produce.
To be honest, I have always liked Deadmau5- vver since the days when it wasn’t an overly big deal that he was playing at The Metro. I remember a DJ wearing an electronic mau5 head playing some rather shocking music. This was before the “real” Deadmau5 came out and “took over”, kicking the fake offstage and showing us how it’s really done. This is the Deadmau5 we know and love; a performer, joker but perhaps above all, an opportunist. Coming a long way since being broken into the scene by Pete Tong, and now known as arguably the king of EDM, the man knows how to create a stir, composing with artists in opposing genres (watch out for his next collaboration with country singer Ryan Adams) and using social media to his advantage.
Deadmau5 is as much of a DJ as a producer. It is the personality behind the music that is perhaps the most intriguing that will continue to reign in fans regardless of the criticism. His album is commercially viable due to his popularity and the ability for it to be mixed in clubs but with a lack of peaks it is not anything that will blow your mind. Having said that, from first listen to now, some of the tracks such as "Closer" definitely grow on you and it is the live performances that should really see them come into their own.
Review Score: 6.9 out of 10