Deadmau5 - 4x4=12

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Well, here we go again. Arguably as anticipated as his last release, the man, the mouse – whatever you may wish to call him – is back, with a brand new album, 4×4=12. Has he matured, is it an inspiring album, or is it more of the same that we’ve grown to expect from the Canadian?

We kick off in only the way he seemingly knows how: hard, but this time, it’s taken to a new level. The man behind the mouse, Joel Zimmerman, probably couldn’t care less what genre he is boxed into, but given the purpose of a review is to inform, it is fair to say that he starts off with what can be called nothing but electro house.

He launches into it with a distinct Deadmau5 edge, and it’s arguably the same sound that has driven crowds mad in recent times. Others who seemingly long for his blood will continue to hate; not that he gives a shit.

Some Chords and Sofi Needs A Ladder is Deadmau5 at his banging festival best, the latter now with vocals from Sofi Toula (where previously there were none) and making it arguably more mainstream. It’s the kind of tune that would send a crowd of his devoted followers into absolute hysterics. City in Florida and Bad Selection follow suit, and while it is all representative of a sound that’s, if nothing else, catchy, one can’t help but similarly feel that it’s all just a touch repetitive.

There is no sign here of a Faxing Berlin, a Jaded, or even a Strobe. While that may be a cause for disappointment for some, others may welcome more of the same and a further move away from the very early Deadmau5 that had so many people so excited.

Some of you may not be surprised with this turn, some may not even care, but here you are reading this review, so at least to some extent, you do. His collaboration with electro house producer Wolfgang Gartner in Animal Rights represents a funkier and dirtier sound, and is even somewhat reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Human After All. His I Said is typical Deadmau5, and not surprisingly, given that it has featured in many of his sets for the past twelve months.

Then, just as you think that the prog bombs that littered the second half of his For Lack of a Better Name release will not make an appearance, and the electro house thing is getting just a touch repetitive: grab on to your socks and pull. As we glide seamlessly into the gentler Raise Your Weapons, possibly the Strobe of the album, one realises that there are a few twists and turns to come.

Firstly…vocals. And peaceful, almost angelic vocals, courtesy of Greta Svabo Bech from electro group Picture Book. For those that don’t mind a bit of vocal mixed in with your EDM, it will capture your attention, and if nothing else, this tune is a ballad. Or is it? For, with no warning, Zimmerman launches into what can only be described as a pretty explosive dubstep beat. Dubstep fans out there may groan in unison (or however it is they groan), but I’d implore you to listen, then judge. Prog-cum-ballad-cum-dubstep. It’s a bit of a journey within itself and pretty impressive.

And there’s more to come, One Trick Pony following suit with more of the dubstep variety, and like it or hate it, if it does nothing else, it will certainly cause a stir. But then again, this is coming from the man that said that all DJs are “fuckin’ c*nts’, so one safely assume he could care less about what people think.

All up, this is a solid album from Zimmerman, even if it isn’t breathtakingly amazing. Diehard Deadmau5 fans will love this, with plenty for them to enjoy, and it is on the back of this that it will almost certainly be another commercial success.

Similarly, while the stomp into dubstep territory might alienate a few fans, it may just as easily bring a few more into the mix. Overall though, while some may claim that the album represents a maturing Mau5, for me, such a claim should not be overstated. It is essentially more of the same, albeit with a few twists and turns just to keep you interested.

4×4 = 12 is out now on EMI.

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luvbits

luvbits said on the 6th Dec, 2010

you can't really compare this to Random Album Title The album feels rushed imo.although.. raise your weapon is pretty cool !

i_have_ADD

i_have_ADD said on the 6th Dec, 2010

agree with luvbits, am not entirely convinced of this one. just doesn't feel as 'finished' as his previous albums (even though, in particular, the debut was nothing more than a compilation of individual productions made up to that point). i was expecting something a bit more cohesive overall... i like 'right this second' though.

daverh

daverh said on the 6th Dec, 2010

But isn't this just another compilation of individual productions? Some Chords being out ages ago, Animal Rights being a Mau5trap single and all...

Saliki

Saliki said on the 7th Dec, 2010

Deadmau5 was always a producer of singles. These albums are for the store shelves, just in time for christmas.

GoodLove

GoodLove said on the 7th Dec, 2010

Big festival killers like Raise Your Weapon are what people are going to remember from Deadmau5 this summer. Not how he put the album together.

chekrah

chekrah said on the 7th Dec, 2010

It was an enjoyable read until: "one safely assume he could care less about what people think."But with regards to the album... I agree with the 'unfinished' comments. I'm waiting for the hordes to proclaim this as the 'Album of the year' in their eyes. I disagree. It has some quality, but in my eyes it's staggered and not complete.

Elliot G

Elliot G said on the 7th Dec, 2010

chekrah - you don't agree? you actually think he's concerned with what critics say?

jjalsop

jjalsop said on the 7th Dec, 2010

Mate I've not yet read a review of this album that I've agreed with more. I'm a diehard mau5 fan. "Raise Your Weapon" is definitely the closest thing to a "Strobe" of the newest album.I can't help but be disappointed by the album. It's mostly because all the tracks have already been released and listened to ('Some Chords' and 'Everything Before' are old as sin). There's no discovery in listening to 4x4=12. I remember sitting down and listening to For Lack of A Better Name all the way through and being completely blown away by the new sounds....finishing with a perfectly placed "Strobe". The beat drop in that track at about 6 or 7 minutes not only felt like the climax for that track, but of the entire album.That's not to say I don't love all the tracks; they're all very good songs. It just feels like his manager popped in and said "Dude have you got an album yet?" and he hurriedly through a few singles he had finished onto a CD and said "Yeah man it's here".tl:dr;Great as singles, shitty as album.

TheNextBestThing

TheNextBestThing said on the 7th Dec, 2010

This album has festival written all over it, the focus of many of the tracks is on the bassline, Although there is one exception called Raise Your Weapon that reminds me of the quality of Deadmau5s emotive breakdowns that his famous for but it isnt in the same league as his older stuff. Just like Lack Of a Better Name many of the tracks where released before the album was, so I dont understand what youre complaining about jialsop, although I do agree that it feels unfinished. 1/5

Digitalgrub

Digitalgrub said on the 8th Dec, 2010

I don't mind having all this newer tracks in one place, so it's good for that. Still good tunes though.

chekrah

chekrah said on the 9th Dec, 2010

@ Elliot G... I was taking a stab at the grammar. When the author writes " could care less" it implies that the mau5 does in fact care and therefore, has some care to spare.correct form would be "couldn't care less" which implies, he has no care to spare, and therefore, could not possibly care less./english lesson

benwest0411

benwest0411 said on the 11th Dec, 2010

Lol. @ Chekrah, you do realize Elliot G is the author?

yani_s

yani_s said on the 20th Dec, 2010

If people already hadn't listened to Some Chords, Animal Rights, Sofi Needs a Ladder, (hell basically the whole album including Raise your Weapon if you knew where to look on youtube ) MONTHS and MONTHS ago. This album would have been much more well recieved.As people have said, this is not an album. Its a cluster of already released singles.

yani_s

yani_s said on the 20th Dec, 2010

Oh and lol Chekrah. it always annoys me when people say could care less. SHIT DUZNT MEK CENTS!