Philadelphia producer Baauer may have taken the world by storm with his electro-trap and mega-meme-pawning anthem "Harlem Shake," but his debut album, Aa, suggests he's so much more, and that "Harlem Shake" is his "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Go further into Bobby McFerrin's work and there is rich art along with deep cuts, and the same could be said for Baauer, especially on the first half of Aa. "Pinku" is effervescent and abstract nu-disco that bubbles and delights, while "Body" is sleek and sexy bedroom music for robots with a taste for '80s R&B. Opener "Church" is an austere thing of beauty that might very well be inspired by the odd and alluring sculptures featured in the LP's artwork, but "Gogo!" has that "Harlem Shake" boom, as does plenty of the album's second half. Wu-Tang producer RZA will drool once "Temple" hits the speakers, as guests M.I.A. and G-Dragon rap Shaolin style while the song's bass hits deep. Then there's the rolling thunder found under Future and Pusha T during "Kung Fu," a dramatic track that's an exercise in tension and restraint. Nothing bores and the album moves through its track list with a purposeful flow, and while electro-trap fiends and "Harlem Shake" lovers may be thrown by all the artful noise, Aa still rocks the house, as Baauer evolves from meme generator to master craftsman.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries