Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, has released his new album W:/2016ALBUM/ and announced a tour around it titled lots of shows in a row all in one fell swoop.
One of the storylines leading up to the album's release was Zimmerman's dissatisfaction with the album. He noted that critics "loved" the album (might need to check that again), but thought that the album was rushed and patched together.
When an artist is so open about criticizing their own album it is interesting to see if those are worthy critiques. First, does it feel rushed? No it is hard to tell if this album, two years after while 1<2, did not have the time put into it that he would have liked.
The second critique is something that may have more weight to it. The LP doesn't feel as focused as some of his in the past. There are elements of gritty electro, 80's-styled synths and the ambient electronic music that permeates throughout his discography.
The LP starts out with the lush, sweeping "4ware," that has been compared to his first big hit "Faxing Berlin." It then starts to get into some of the heavier tunes like "2448" and "Imaginary Friends," where we see that gritty electro that was prominent on 4x4=12. At times it feels disjointed during this section.
The stunning vocal "Let Go" with Grabbitz provides a reprieve from this before the 80s synths come out on "No Problem."
Songs like "Three Pound Chicken Wing" have the classic deadmau5 sound fans will love to hear with ominous synths, skittering snares similar to "FML" and pumping bass.
"Whelk Then" is one of the more adventurous tracks on the album. It maintains a calm rhythm throughout with soft piano and a well-textured percussion that could be heard on a jazz set.
Overall the LP is a bright new piece of work from deadmau5. There are moments that feel a little disjointed and you can see why he wanted more time to fine tune the album, but overall there is plenty to enjoy about W:/2016ALBUM/. Pick up a copy here.
In addition to the new album, deadmau5 has announced a tour to support the LP. He is bringing a new version of his famous cube, dubbed Cube 2.1. You can check out a brief clip of it below.
The announced tour dates will start in New York City on March 29 and run through May 5 in Chicago. He will play at various theaters in cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, Detroit and Boston, staying for two nights at a time in many spots. Tickets go on sale this Monday at 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST.
For the many individuals who do not see their cities listed yet, do not worry. This is just the first round of gigs. Also with the support he gets in New York City and that big gap between March 29 and April 7 in Camden, don't be too surprised to see some more shows added on at Hammerstein as the first gig likely sells out.
A photo posted by deadmau5 (@deadmau5) on Dec 1, 2016 at 7:35pm PST