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Baauer | Planet’s Mad

The Harlem Shaker goes global with this concept album about an alien invasion.

Baauer’s name sure sounds familiar, right? Maybe you recognized it right off the bat, but I’m obviously getting old — for the life of me, I couldn’t place him. Then I saw the words Harlem Shake on a bio somewhere and it all clicked into place. And not necessarily in a good way — being responsible for one of the more annoying viral-video crazes of the recent past isn’t exactly a selling point in my book. Despite all that, I gave the Brooklyn producer’s sophomore album a chance — and much to my surprise, it’s not half bad. It’s certainly ambitious enough: Not only is it a concept album about an alien invasion, but it also comes with a full-length video game-style movie (with a typically kooky cameo by Eric Wareheim to boot). And like a video game, it’s hyperactively fast-paced, vividly vibrant and unabashedly over the top. But even though it’s got the attention span of a gerbil on meth, some of the individual tracks deliver a decent little punch as they zip past. And hey, it’s unlikely to inspire an annoying dance craze.

THE PRESS RELEASE:Baauer returns for his sophomore album. Conceived within a movie-like plot of a new world appearing above Earth, a vision executed in the new video, Planet’s Mad takes us through countless micro-genres where we’re exposed to the sound of alien creatures, children, news forecasts, burps and cosmic atmospherics — all whipped up into this uniquely maximalist dance record.”