After listening to > album title goes here <, I realized something. If you count this one, Random Album Title, For Lack of a Better Name, and 4x4=12 as his true “studio albums,” there is a trend to be seen. RAT is the best in terms of album flow from beginning to finish, but half of its songs aren’t very good when listened to individually. ATGH is the best in terms of individual track quality, but it doesn’t motivate me to do start-to-finish listening I would to RAT.
How is this so? There are a good number of standout tracks on ATGH (if I can get over the fact that “The Veldt,” “Maths,” and “Professional Griefers” have been overplayed to death in my music library). The aforementioned three songs are all of high quality, and so are “Channel 42” (with Wolfgang Gartner), “Fn Pig,” “There Might Be Coffee,” “Closer,” and “October.” “Closer” might just be the best track on this album in my opinion, but they all have their positive aspects. “October” is probably the most reminiscent of deadmau5’s old days, and that makes sense since it has existed in his live sets since 2009. I could go on and on about why I like each track.
However, I can’t bring myself to like the transitions from track to track, and I’m not talking about how the tracks are unmixed. The transition from “Channel 42” to “The Veldt” is by far the most jarring of them all. A pounding electro house track suddenly becomes a mellow four-to-the-floor progressive house track with vocals. I mean, how the hell does that even work? In addition, the last three tracks have little connection among them. “Telemiscommunications” is a less-than-ideal way to end the album, as it gave me a hanging, not conclusive, feeling.
Given all of the trousey/housey/big room dance songs oversaturating the EDM scene this past summer, it’s certainly nice to see a mainstream artist do something different. I’m not saying that’s innovative, but it definitely feels fresher. While I’m by no means disappointed with deadmau5’s latest effort (that’s probably more than I can ask for from an egotistic EDM producer), there are places where the album construction just felt lazy. I get that these tracks are just a compilation of unreleased material, but I certainly could have done with a better tracklist order.
If you’re a deadmau5 fan, this album definitely warrants your attention. If you’re not, you might find a few tracks to enjoy.
Top Track (for now, my opinion changes very quickly): “Closer”