When you hear the name Baauer, only one thing comes to mind – “Harlem Shake.” Yep, for the DJ/Producer, likely the viral hit “Harlem Shake” is both a blessing and a curse. The curse for Baauer is the fact that he has yet to duplicate the success of that hit, hence earning that label of “one hit wonder.” On Aa, Baauer seeks to establish himself beyond “Harlem Shake.” Does he?
Overall, Aa is enjoyable. This isn’t an album that will necessarily blow you away/blow your mind but there are some standouts by all means. “Pinku” ranks among the grooviest joints, serving as an infectious catalyst for head nodding. “Sow” benefits from its raw quality, clearly rivaling “Harlem Shake” in regards to utilized cues.
Continuing on, “Day Ones” is clearly the crème de la crème, given its straight-up, malicious trap sound. Novelist and Leikeli47 are the guest MCs, spitting fire against an ill backdrop. “Temple” is also electrifying, featuring M.I.A. and G-Dragon who are clearly on autopilot: “Body body body body body body body bow / everybody heard about me and everybody know / faster than a hunter with an arrow to the bow / if he steps close then I’m gonna let it go.”
There are also others as well worth mentioning. “GoGo!” is respectable, following an enigmatic, launch with the brief “Church,” a song later reprised as the set’s penultimate track. Anytime Pusha T is featured it’s worth noticing – just saying! Future joins Push on “Kung Fu,” where the always brutally honest MC doesn’t hold back in the least.
All in all, Aa is worth the time. It’s not the year’s most profound, nor is it substandard by any means. It’s a good album that should appeal to electronic music fans – it’s a niche album. Sure, there are elements of hip-hop – particularly the ‘trap’ that glorified “Harlem Shake,” but Baauer successfully broadening his horizons or base still seems like an uphill task. Regardless, he has no reason to hang his head about Aa.
Favorites: “Pinku,” “Sow,” “Day Ones,” “Temple” and “Kung Fu”
Baauer • Aa • LuckyMe • Release Date: 3.18.16