Plumbiferous Media

4×4=12 – Deadmau5

Dec 16th 2010
4x4=12 - Deadmau5Deadmau5
Score: 48

Experimental house artist Deadmau5’s newest release came out this past month. After his fairly well-received earlier products, Deadmau5’s newest offering, 4×4=12 is actually somewhat aptly described by its name. It is an interesting album, of sorts, and it is an interesting take on a very well defined genre. Ultimately, however, it is not exceedingly well thought out.

Deadmau5’s major contribution on 4×4=12 is a demonstration of his range of capabilities. Tracks on the album vary widely from fairly standard house to entirely experimental electronica, and most of everything in between. Though it seems there are some areas Deadmau5 would have done better avoiding, the range of sounds is impressive nonetheless.

Still, there’s a certain structure to 4×4=12, even with the range of sounds. The albums tracks, regardless of their individual quality, work well with one another. Each track is also pretty clearly structured. Deadmau5 does, in fact, know what he is doing – 4×4=12 does not sound like it was composed by a trio of howling monkeys mashing synths together, regardless of whether the trio would, in fact, create better tracks than some of those on 4×4=12.

While 4×4=12 is a creatively built album, it’s also one with more than its share of problems. While repetition is admittedly an integral part of Deadmau5’s electro-house genre, 4×4=12 more than once crosses the line between using repetition to build a track and using it to fill space. This is counteracted in part by small variations along the length of tracks, which help to keep even some of the most repetitive sections fairly interesting – but it still certainly affects 4×4=12‘s overall originality.

Additionally, 4×4=12 contains some sections that, repetition or lack thereof notwithstanding, simply don’t work. The largest of these is the second track, “Sofi Needs a Ladder.” While this track is sonically interesting at times, Sofi Toufa’s vaguely pop-punk vocal contribution is less so. Instead, it comes off as abrasive and irritating, and rather than contributing to the track overshadows a solid instrumental backing. This sort of issue is thankfully not widespread on 4×4=12 – but when it consumes an entire track, it’s certainly notable.

While 4×4=12 certainly has its successes – “Raise Your Weapon” and “Bad Selection” are just two among a group of impressive tracks – overall, thanks to a over-large group of problems, it’s simply not as good as much of Deadmau5’s earlier material. Though the album’s successes prevent it from falling too far, it really does not end in the best of standings. Too much downtime and too many missteps, when combined, mean an album that’s just not quite what it could be – and though that doesn’t mean a terrible album, it’s a pity nonetheless.

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2 Responses

  1. pearson post says:

    Re your comments on: “Sofi Needs a Lad­der.” / it comes off as abra­sive and irri­tat­ing.

    At first i thought the same as you. Now, having heard the track and whole album, many times, I disagree.

    The vocals on Sofi Needs a Lad­der, are indeed harsh, but they are maing a painful statement, In its own right the very harshnes of the vocals, emphasise the point of the track. Balanced, in my opinion with the skill, or mastery of sonic magic of . is as you put it : a solid instru­men­tal back­ing.

    It just took me a three or four times for the penny to drop.

    “Sofi Needs a Lad­der,” is in my opinion a sophisticated, ballanced work. Whith, perhaps deliberatley,for emphasis, a raw execution.

  2. Cleen Table says:

    Deadmus5 Rules

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