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.”