Electronic music - it certainly comes in all shapes and forms. Sometimes you can't even tell whether it is or not. That's kind of the best, because sometimes, you know, square waves can be distracting! So, on the front line of semi-electronic music you have the obvious dudes like Four Tet and DNTEL (who I recently heard in a Cadillac commercial? Say it ain't so.), then you have somewhat lesser known outfits like Tape and Fonica. Well, to be honest, I don't know where Mouse On Mars fits into that continuum. But I am confident that they are on it somewheres-abouts. In any case, this isn't even a new album so they could have risen to stardom or fallen into obscurity by now (someone tell me). But all that is just fluff - what about the music? Well, it's good.
The closest reference points I can think of are perhaps Daedalus and Minotaur Shock, whose Playing Parties and Maritime give me similar synthesized pleasure. All three are playful in their songs while keeping an eye on the actual quality of the thing, and not letting the nonsense get out of hand, the way so many electronic artists do. To be honest, there are plenty of spots I don't particularly like - for instance, the faux-hip-hop backbeat sound works all right on "Subsequence," but "Introduce" falls flat, lacking real substance. The most interesting tracks are the ones with orchestral samples, like "The Illking" and "Fantastic Analysis," which use the orchestral swell to excellent and varied effect. "Catching Butterflies With Hand" is sheer boppy joy, and even a weird little track like "Paradical" grows on you because of its unique, Oval-esque sound (if you wait around for about 45 seconds, anyhow). So check this out, it's a great, weird little album with a fun, irreverent sound and a lot of genuinely original and enjoyable tracks.