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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
As a fan of deadmau5's previous studio albums (Random Album Title and For Lack of a Better Name), I knew I wanted to buy this album, if only for the sake of having another one. The track "Some Chords", released as a single previously, was good enough that I had high hopes for the rest of the album. In the end, I have discovered that "4x4=12" represents a new style for deadmau5. Joel Zimmerman's experiments with collaborative tracks and alternate genres (dubstep) have turned out well, mixing up the sound while still maintaining the distinctive flavor that his fans know and love.

The album begins with "Some Chords", a track that any fan of "Ghosts N Stuff" will immediately enjoy. The balance is shifted, though, with "Sofi Needs a Ladder". This track, one of two in the album featuring fellow artist SOFI, sets itself apart with aggressive beats and angry female vocals. While not a typical deadmau5 track at all, it still has some potential, though I personally didn't enjoy it as much.

After this departure is finished, the album kicks back into the mau5's usual territory with the rowdy "A City in Florida". Deep, fast-paced beats and full bass create a wild ride, which blends into a more stacatto track, "Bad Selection". Next up is a collaborative track entitled "Animal Rights", one of my favorites from the album. With a sound reminiscent of Daft Punk, this one is full of win, with arpeggiated electronic noises and eccentric melodic bits.

The lighthearted mood shifts with the next track, "I said", another collaborative piece. The lights go out for this one, which has a creepy, visceral feeling. The surreal tones continue with the intense original track "Cthulhu Sleeps", whose wobbling, pulsing vibe carries the beat well. The album hits a peaceful section for a moment with the next track, "Right This Second", featuring a synth-heavy melodic intro that builds up tension and drops into an urgent beat.

Next comes a notable switch in the form of the track "Raise Your Weapon". Featuring vocals by Greta Svabo Bech, the track is soothing, a bit mournful, and skillfully executed. Halfway through, deadmau5 hits listeners with a grinding dubstep beat that throws the piece into chaos and eventually resolves itself into a calm flow of sound.

That calm is broken by SOFI's second appearance with "One Trick Pony", a track that threatens to rip the album apart with its grating rap lyrics and unvaried roughness. Anyone brave enough to listen to the whole track is subjected to an onslaught of violent noise tied together by Sofi Toufa's angry rapping.

Perhaps the chaos can be appreciated, though, when the final track is reached. "Everything Before" settles the noise down into a classic deadmau5 house beat, with some eerie melodic elements to complete the mood. The track's execution recalls Joel's work in "Random Album Title" and is easily recognized by longtime listeners. With this return to his roots, deadmau5 closes an album that is quite the ride.

Overall, this is an album worth buying. Several tracks are absolutely mind-blowing, and though one or two lack the same appeal deadmau5's work usually has, the compilation still manages to shine. I give it 4 out of 5.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I've been on the fence where Deadmau5 is concerned. His production style is simply amazing, but his song-writing is really, really formulaic--even more so than most progressive house. He has a style, but he just sticks to it a little too close for my happiness. However, this appears to have changed with 4x4=12, his best album to date.

Of particular note are the tracks with vocalist SOFI (no idea who she is, but she works well with the Deadmau5 style) and Greta Svabo Bech, on the surprisingly sensitive "Raise Your Weapon." Who would have guessed Deadmau5 would feature a song about the difficulties of a relationship, featuring delicate piano chords, and it would still work?

One of the interesting innovations to the Deadmau5 style is his foray into dubstep with "One Trick Pony." For a producer with such amazingly engineered bass, the move to dubstep is just perfect. I would love to see more of this from Deadmau5 on his next album. "Animal Rights" is another standout track with a great lo-fi synth melody and that phenomenal bass drum that he does so well.

If you're a seasoned fan, you should absolutely buy this. If you're skeptical of Deadmau5, this will clearly demonstrate that the guy has real song-writing talent. Finally, if you're new to Deadmau5, this is the one to start with. If you like anything resembling progressive house or tech house, you'll definitely enjoy this. It's just really good music!
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
In our normal Base-10, decimal number system each digit is a power of 10.

4x4 = 16 = 1x10 + 6x1

In a Base-14, tetradecimal number system each digit is a power of 14.

4x4 = 12 = 1x14 + 2x1

The album title is only true if you are using a very awkward numbering system invented by someone with 7 fingers on each hand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2013
Huge deadmau5 fan and love pretty much all of the tracks on this album. Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes dance music. And even some who don't. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2013
Deadmau5 is just great and he continues to wow me with his music. Every song and album is unique and totally different. This one is no exception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
This review is for Deadmau5 newcomers, like myself. I've heard sprinklings of Joel's work since it began dominating the dance scene. It has taken me a while to differentiate genres and really discover the artists I like. I consider myself hard to please when it comes to this kind of music. For an outrageous album like 4x4=12 to win me over takes a good injection of raw musicality. This is the reason I am becoming a Deadmau5 fan.

My discovery of this "Progressive House" album happened backwards. There I was reading the June 2012 issue of Sound On Sound where a review of some killer studio monitors mentions the use of 4x4=12 as a sonic benchmark for breaking-in and testing new speakers. This perked my interest. I had unfortunately lumped Deadmau5 in with other artists I do not enjoy, and a solid listening to 4x4=12 began to change that. I have been won over and somewhat trained by this album and now consider myself a Progressive House fan, not just the House fan I was before.

This is not the minimalistic tasty house music style of guys like the amazing Ricardo Villalobos, but rather an obnoxious journey into face-smashing beats. This is solid electronic "house" music that should be reserved for bone-rattling parties where Four On The Floor is being called for. It is important to digest this album on a quality stereo system with a subwoofer, not headphones. I feel tested by this album, slowly warming up to the more over the top tracks like A City In Florida. The end result is a discovery of something new I didn't previously like. Some listeners will be better prepared than I.

In summary I really appreciate the composition and musical value of this not-for-the-faint-at-heart album. For those already versed in the ways of Deadmau5 I'm sure you already own this album. Either way I would call 4x4=12 to be one of the gold standards of modern electronic dance music. It will supercharge you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2013
Simply one of the best workout or kickstarting set of tracks on the market. I like Combichrist, and a friend introduced me to Deadmau5 and I've since acquired 4 albums on MP3. I'm 43 years old and my eight year old wants Deadmau5 on her Ipod and Ipad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2013
Deadmau5 has perfected the peaceful and trance like nature of electronic music. I would recommend this album to anyone that enjoys getting lost in their music or just looking to enjoy relaxing and neutral ambiance music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
My first Deadmau5 record and I love it. It was recorded very well. I think new music is recorded digitally so getting an analogue copy is kind of backward right? It sounds great!
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VINE VOICEon September 7, 2015
My review of "Random Album Title" included comments to the effect that after a few months of repeated listenings, it had continued to stay on top and would easily remain in my short stack of favorites. After about four years I could easily write these same comments. However, I also wrote at the time that I could not find any other deadmau5 albums which measured up to "Random Album Title". My later discovery of "Animal Rights" led to my purchase of "4x4=12", released about two years after "Random Album Title", which (for the most part) ended up changing my mind. In addition to "Animal Rights", my other favorites in this collection are "Everything Before", the last track, followed by "Some Chords", the first track, as well as the tracks with vocals from Sofia Toufa that include "Sofi Needs a Ladder", "Raise Your Weapon", and "One Trick Pony". The main reason I do not listen to this album as much as "Random Album Title" is the presence of heavy, concentration-breaking vocals beyond simple voice loops akin to "Sometimes Things Get, Whatever" in the earlier release. And keep in mind that deadmau5 delves into multiple music genres here, so over time you will likely find yourself repeatedly listening to individual tracks rather than the complete collection.
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