Like anything good, it gets old and familiar. Presently, this is the case with dubstep. I’m done with it. I’m no longer impressed by heavy drops or huge bass. It just started blending together after a while. This week I’m reviewing the latest that bass music producer Bassnectar has to offer. Last year, when dubstep was in its prime, Bassnectar dropped Divergent Spectrum. A pretty relevant and fantastic piece of work then. Back then, I couldn’t have called Bassnectar dubstep, but it came pretty close, and to the casual listener, there wouldn’t be much of a difference. On Vava Voom, I would say that he is doing something that is pretty innovative. He’s combining his typical bass music with some elements of dubstep, drum’n’bass, trance, and a little glitch. It’s a fusion that I believe would satisfy all kinds of electronic music fans.
The album kicks off with “Vava Voom”, the first single from the album. It’s got a fat beat and an entrancing synth line. This song feels mostly like an electro hip hop track until around 2:45 where it drops. The wobble is less than impressive. It just feels weak and annoying. That’s probably the track’s only flaw, is that terrible bass. He should have just fleshed out Lupe Fiasco’s verses a little, and let him stand out a bit. It feels like he’s completely overshadowed for almost the entire track.
“What” feels more like a traditional dance tune until it drops, which again, is completely lame. It’s at this point where I’m like “What are you even doing?”. Hopefully after this album, Bassnectar doesn’t try to continue jumping on the dubstep bandwagon which really seems to have run its course. It just feels like a complete waste of talent.
“Empathy” is a heavy, upbeat, and just straight up feel good song. I can see any DJ spinning this at a club or really good reception. It completely stands out on this LP, and I really enjoy it.
“Pennywise Tribute” is, as the title suggests, a remix of punk band Pennywise’s track “Bro Hymn (Tribute)”. This track is lovely. It’s a delicious blend of both D’n’B and pop punk. Unlike most remixes of today, it retains a lot of the original track and simply makes it dance-able. I highly prefer remixes like this. It’s a fantastic party song and it gets the blood pumping. This track completely stands out to me, and it’s great.
“Do It Like This” drops early, with some heavy kicks and a slightly better bassline. It’s still not great, but it’s a significant improvement from “What” and “Vava Voom”.
“Laughter Crescendo” is an upbeat and enjoyable song that is kind of hard to classify. You could call it Trance, you could call it Glitch, you might even say it’s just plain Electronic. Whatever you decide on, it’s a solid track. No real complaints here.
Here’s the catch. Bassnectar, like most EDM, is formulaic. I already said I’m tired of dubstep, and when it comes to music like Bassnectar’s, it’s really awesome when you’re listening to one or two songs, but it’s hard to listen to for extended periods of time. I get tired of heavy bass and sharp, staccato melodies. The individual tracks are cool, but as a whole, it’s hard to bear. This album can only get a 3.5 out of me.