“Newcomers to the Electro-House genre will be entertained, and more experienced listeners can appreciate a handful of satisfying tracks”
This album represents the rise of mainstream Electronic Dance Music, often referred to as “EDM”. Anytime I see this acronym thrown around, I must admit I listen to the songs hesitantly. After wading through some not so great tracks, there are a few pleasant surprises that House Heads will probably appreciate more than other listeners.
At a first glance of “The Rules of Dada”, I was happy to see some old faces: “Happy Violence” and “Kick out the Epic Motherf***er” (I know, our friend censorship ). People who’ve been around the house scene awhile might have to wipe the dust off these tracks, but there is still some enjoyment to be had. “Kick Out” remains in it’s pristine form, but “Happy Violence” is unfortunately plagued with bad vocals. It’s baffling to me why some artists feel the need to plaster decent songs with vocals. It’s a problem I see everywhere with popular Electronic House.
As for the new tracks, there’s mixed results for the Swedish duo. “Feed the Dada” seems a little stale, unimaginative, and lacks substance. If you’re a DJ, a song like this might still do the trick in one of your sets, as long as the crowd consists of the new-wave EDM kids. “So Young, So High” has its golden moments, especially during and after the drops. It’s a very dance-able song, and adds life to whatever atmosphere it’s played in. Where the Swedes run into trouble is in the the bits before the buildup; I can’t stress how out of place and cheesy the female vocals are. A decent DJ could always mix his or her way around it and then bring in the good parts, but it’s definitely a far from ideal task and not everyone wants to DJ.
There are a few filler tracks, namely “Arrive Beautiful Leave Ugly”, “Rolling Stones T-Shirt”, and “Bass Don’t Cry”. These three songs are mediocre at best, lacking both depth and a good groove. There is, however, one unforgivable track that I must mention; “Boing Clash Boom” is an absolute mess of a song (as the name might imply). It’s loaded with bad vocals and synth lines, and has unnecessary bits of American Dubstep-esque synths patched in tactlessly. The result is a song that lacks continuity and is, at times, terribly painful to listen to. Shame on you, Dada. (wags finger)
“Everything is Free” is another track that features sub par vocals, but these down beat parts are tolerable. The fun starts during the buildup with the introduction of the main synth, followed by the drop. One can definitely tell where Dada Life ran out of ideas for the song in terms of allowing the enjoyment to last, but it remains a decent track.
Now for the goodies.
“Don’t Stop” features an Acid House style plucked synth line and some good vocals; It can at times feel dragged out or in need of a bit more complexity, but nonetheless the result is an interesting song that is relaxing and offers a good enough beat to dance to.
Now to my favorite track on the album- “You Will Do What We Will Do” is arguably Dada Life’s best work to date. It features some inspiring synth lines with a clean kick and underlying bass pad. It’s a track that draws you in with its groove and the right amount of complexity to satisfy the new and old house crowds. It might not have that same “down and dirty” feel as some of Dada’s past successful tracks, but it offers much more in overall enjoyment.