Aa as in double As in Baauer. As in the first letter of the alphabet. As in the beginning. As in where it all started.
F*ck Harlem Shake.
What the f*ck have I been saying this whole time?
I don’t know Baauer personally, but I have always imagined his middle finger and face saying ‘F*ck Harlem Shake.’ I have been saying this for a minute now. That track almost ruined him or branded him, left him misunderstood, and remembered for the one thing everyone needs to forget.
F*ck Harlem Shake.
That track is the antithesis of what Baauer embodies as an artist. He doesn’t come right out and say these things because he is shy and humble, a super talented, very good human. Baauer has definitely been a little more forthcoming with the media, recently an article on Complex and a mini documentary were released in anticipation for this album. Aa landed in my inbox a few days ago. I have been waiting for it since before I even knew it was a thing, but following its every move for the past few months. I have had this gut feeling about Baauer and this album. I could not have been more right about this.
This album is everything.
This release is a bold statement from Baauer, a proper showing of his versatility and talent. Sheer brilliance from beginning to end in my opinion. I was giggling the other day thinking about how no one has even heard or paid mind to some of the biggest bangers on this album, and there are like a handful more that drop with the album release. Someone just sent me “GoGo” the other day like I didn’t write up that track back in October.
This album has been so long in the making, and it is everything.
Albums are rarely listened to in their entirety anymore, and rare is the artist that creates a full length album worthy of listening to on repeat, learning all the words, ultimately cuddling up with the album sleeve you admiring the beautiful artwork. Baauer is a rare and next level artist, and everything about this album is reminiscent of the time before vinyls were considered collectibles or vintage. They, whoever they are, are dumbing down art so that it is more appealing to people that dont at all get it. Any of it. They never will.
Baauer solidifies the point that he will never again, dumb down his art or sacrifice its integrity. He will never stop searching for sound. He has found the voice of a forgotten people. Words really are lost on the magnitude of this album, even though there is so much to be said. It seems fitting that one might better understand just listening to it.
F*ck Harlem Shake.
He doesn’t need to say it, and we don’t need to talk about it ever again. This album says everything there is to say. Literally, it is just too good. The implications, the message it sends. The music speaks, each track is in and of itself masterful, and part of this larger masterpiece.
Harry taking everyone to Church, through soft, soothing sounds that calm your spirit and clear your head just before sending it spinning. Even the tracks that have been out for months, GoGo! and Day Ones. People can not honestly be sleeping on Kung Fu featuring Pusha T and Future, because it is completely epic. Yet I feel like no one knows it has been out. Earlier this week, ‘Temple’ featuring OG Trap Queen MIA and G DRAGON, quietly dropped on Soundcloud. Some of these tracks already have killer music videos too. It is amazing people still aren’t hearing these tunes. There is nothing quiet about this album. It bangs hard and loud, and is at the same time this full length album that flows freely from one track to another. GoGo is a high energy dance track, followed by Body and Pinku, each track as heavy and heady as the next. Sow goes TF in, and that is just the first five tracks.
‘Day Ones’ is my favorite track on the album because grime. Novelist is just 19 years old, and a hot grime lyricist, and Leikeli47 kills a hook and a verse or two. Baauer and Leikeli47 debuted this track live on The Late Show back in January, but the recorded version with Novelist’s verses bring together this trifecta, and the track just balls so hard as a result. The deep horns and angry, gritty male and female vocals remind us of a valuable lesson. “Day Ones, let me hear you scream.” ‘Good & Bad’ is a short instrumental track, experimental and trippy, and perfectly transitioning into the sexiest track on the album by far, ‘Way From Me’ (ft. Tirzah). ’Make It Bang‘ with TT the Artist isn absolute madness, sandwiched between two equally insane bangers, Kung Fu and Temple, both of which are already on Soundcloud. How is everyone in the world not listening to these tracks by now?
Counterclockwise my wrist go. The last two tracks on the album are a reprise of ‘Church’ featuring LuckyMe homie Rustie, and maybe the title track that bangs, screams, kicks, and leaves a mark.
If you break down all of the pieces of this album, from the Searching for Sound instrumental samples, ancient and worldly backdrop with the lyrical flows of grime and rap and hip hop, males and females and just the most global and diverse group of gangsters. No one knows what Baauer has been up to all these years. It is a shame, but people still will 7/10 times be like, Oh the Harlem Shake dude?
F*ck Harlem Shake.
Aa is a full length album of tracks ten times one Harlem Shake. I want to ask why we are still on some dumb shit, but I know why. We all know why.
This album though. Baauer has been low key making some of the most major moves, creating this album as some kind of opus of his journey as an artist. It says what people haven’t yet been able to grasp about Baauer: that he is not only so much more than that viral video nonsense, but that he is everything but that. This is the final word on this matter. Aa is made up of so many sounds from all over the world, vocals true and honest, and Baauers masterful production. It is almost like this collective voice of all humanity. Deep as fuck, but it reminds me of some trapped out We are the World shit.
Baauer just gets it. Now it is your turn. Listen. Study. Understand the brilliance that is the #2 album of 2016, or the most slept on album ever. It doesn’t even matter anymore if he is forever slept on, because there are those of us that get it, and that is all that matter. A collective voice of the earth if the globe could speak, composed and constructed so crisply and cut so raw. All of the artists featured on the album are misunderstood, misrepresented, real honest, raw and gritty, and all stars in this crazy music game. Harrison Bauer Rodrigues aka Harry aka Baauer has got this music game on lock. He doesn’t need to say a word about any of it to be honest, and neither do I. (I really wanted to though. I have been destined to write this review. But this album speaks volumes for itself, just turn up the volume and listen to the music.
Baauer – Aa | iTunes | Baauer.com