deadmau5 For Lack of a Better Name

deadmau5 For Lack of a Better Name
Ontario-native Joel Zimmerman (aka Deadmau5) may be as popular as he is polarizing but there's no doubting he's hit the ground running since his first tracks in 2006, with nearly 50 singles, two comps and now two albums under his belt in a four-year span. That's busy by anyone's standards, and in that time his high-octane brand of progressive house and trance has been infiltrated by a nu-electro aesthetic that pegs his more recent work closer in sound to Boyz Noize, Justice or Mr. Oizo. How does the Grammy-nominated and Juno-winning Zimmerman maintain this pace? Well, judging by For Lack of a Better Name, it's because he doesn't bother with subtle textures or the kind of deeper productions that would lend themselves to establishing an individual style. He just delivers the goods in easy-to-swallow pill form. Tracks on the album's first half, like "Moar Ghosts N' Stuff" (including the notably awful vocal version featuring Rob Swire) and "Hi Friend," rely on sheer bursts of simple energy designed to rock the big room but don't necessarily hold up as an album you want to take home and listen to repeatedly. Meanwhile, the album's second half trumpets melodic trance that drives along at a mellower clip, not really doing much with its beats, relying on textbook oscillating synth lines to carry the journey to the end of its lengthy 65 minutes. (Ultra)