The wait is over, mau5heads; deadmau5′ newest album, while(1<2), is finally here. It might not be what festival fans are looking for (surprise!), but the double album is undeniably forward-thinking, mature, and thought-provoking.
His seventh album is, in his own words, “the first album I’ve ever done that i would even call an album… it’s put together like an album. not a compilation.” The two-disc, 25-track release is sprawling and epic, yet poignant and personal at the same time. Traversing several different genres, including upbeat progressive house, experimental electronica, and melancholic, piano-driven interludes, deadmau5 takes the listener on an emotional trip through his own growth as an artist. It offers a touching, dare I say transparent, look at one of the scene’s very biggest stars.
Although he opens the album with the radio-friendly single Avaritia, experimental tracks such as Coelacanth I, Creep, and his remix of How To Destroy Angels’ Ice Age follow in quick succession, disabusing the listener of the idea that this album caters toward the club scene. Yes, there are still a series of standout dance songs–Phantoms Can’t Hang is stunning and Pets has to rank up there as one of his very finest progressive house efforts–but for the most part, the album has far more in common with a film score than an Ultra set.
While a few songs, such as Mercedes, seem out of place, especially when sandwiched between emotional tunes like Superbia and Bleed, you have to commend Joel for his ambition. It’s decidedly different than your typical “EDM” album, but since when did deadmau5 follow the trends of other artists? We love Joel because he is different, and while being different doesn’t necessarily equate to being great, this new album is both different and great. Pick up while(1<2) on Beatport now.