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Que's review-topic
Quethas
PostPosted: 10 February 2008 - 20:29:05 (895)  Reply with quote
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I like to make short reviews every now and then. When I made my latest reviews I thought I could post them here too. You can give comments if you like or make your own reviews.

Anyway...

Miika Kuisma - Sententia



Waiting is finally over

I had huge expectations for the new album. Inwardgaze was maybe the best album of 2005 and after that I have waited for the new material. After couple of single-releases it was official, new album would be called Sententia. Immediately my expectations grew sky high to the same level with new Orkidea, Way Out West, Massive Attack and 0.0db-album. From those Kuisma was the first one to release new album. How he answered to my hopes?

Miika Kuisma is far away from his older style. First hit Orion is pretty close to this one but other tracks he released in JOOF Recordings (like Twisted and Panic Mod) are completely different from this. The style is closer to the first half of Inwardgaze. Just like Smoky Room and Miami Nice it's pretty chilly and atmospheric progtrance with powerful basslines, not energetic and dark uplifting trance.

But that definately isn't a problem. Already older tacks like Take Another Look and One Step Behind Mankind showed that Kuisma knows how to make good progressive trance. The same thing goes in the album. Previously unheard trancetracks are in the same level. Good basslines and nice, unique melodies creates pleasant listening experience.

And yet one remarkable thing is ambient-tracks. Unlike the ones in Inwardgaze, these makes the album stronger when in Inwardgaze those were more like fillers except for opening track Life. I don't know if it's bigger experience of Kuisma or some new magical technology in the album which should make chill-out tracks to have effect in your brains. The main thing is that it works.

So Miika Kuisma answered nearly perfectly into my hopes. The album is the best album of 2007 alongside with Planisphere's Solarism and Guy Gerber's Late Bloomers. Now I just hope that Way Out West can do the same.

10/10

Ace tracks:
Where Am I?
Take Another Look (Miika's Lost Method Mix)
Till The Dawn

Sander van Doorn - Supernaturalistic



Sometimes the change doesn't do good

Not long time ago everything looked great for Sander van Doorn. His tracks had massive success and it seemed that he would become one of the superstar DJ's. His techtrance-releases were popular and masses were waiting for new Sander van Doorn, Sam Sharp or Purple Haze-track. After few years he had released some killer tracks like Purple Haze's Adrenaline or his version of old The Police-tracks Message In The Bottle.

But then something happened. In the beginning of 2007 SVD released two new tracks. Those were pretty succesful but people didn't know what to think about those. Sander had changed his style totally. Still no-one probably thought that techtrance would have been gone for good but it was. Now Sander begun to make minimal trance.

And this is the result. Sander has abandoned his old style and now when he decided to release his debut album, it doesn't have any tracks which are close to his old style. Instead we have boring, monotonous and uninspiring trance. Even though minimalistic music can be very tasty, Sander really can't make it sound good.

So here we are. In the end of album I can only feel relief. One year ago I couldn't have believed that Grasshopper is one of the best tracks in the album. Well it is the result when you make an album with rush.

2/10

Ace tracks:
Apple (barely)
Grasshopper (sounds relatively good here)

Remember that even though I didn't like new SvD I know someone else might like it puh

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Macker
PostPosted: 11 February 2008 - 00:19:15 (055)  Reply with quote
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Nicely done.

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
alphalifter
PostPosted: 11 February 2008 - 00:59:39 (083)  Reply with quote
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That's nicely done mate, maybe you could post some more info on the (tracks) album? playtime, tracklist? that's the thing I'm missing..

thumbsup happy

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alphalifter is looking forward to TE2010
Quethas
PostPosted: 15 February 2008 - 20:59:24 (916)  Reply with quote
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alphalifter wrote:
That's nicely done mate, maybe you could post some more info on the (tracks) album? playtime, tracklist? that's the thing I'm missing..

thumbsup happy


Sure. That's not a problem. Gonna improve that department in the next reviews wink

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Quethas
PostPosted: 21 February 2008 - 22:22:40 (974)  Reply with quote
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Markus Schulz - Amsterdam 08



CD1
1 Dakota - Amsterdam
2 Leama And James Davis Presents Grafiti - Ghettotech
3 Glenn Morrison - Blue Skies With Linda
4 Plastic Angel - Try Walking In My World (Original Mix)
5 Lens - Beyond The Shadows (Moonbeam Remix)
6 Glenn Morrison - Rubberband
7 Rex Mundi - Sunrise In Ibiza
8 Marcus Schössow - Mr. White (Ruben de Ronde Remix)
9 tyDi - Meet Me In Kyoto
10 Ketho Feat. Michael Calderone - Silent Room
11 Supüer - Azaleas
12 Destination X - Dangerous (Gareth Emery Remix / Markus Schulz Big Room Reconstruction)
13 Sonic Division - If I Had Wings

CD2
1 Fulyan - Approach
2 Dakota - Progression
3 Carl & Joni - Forsaken
4 Markus Schulz - Fly To Colors (Carl B Remix)
5 Anton Chernikov - Your Burning Eyes
6 Breakfast & BiG MiKE - Only Two Should Know
7 Markus Schulz Feat Andy Moor - Daydream (Coldharbour Remix)
8 Agnelli & Nelson Present A&N Project - Sleeping In Airports
9 BeBop Breakthrough - Woodpecker
10 B.E.N. & Mr. Pit - More Manners Please
11 EnMass - Avalon
12 Kenneth Tjonasam - Formulation
13 Vir2l Vision - Entry To Heaven (Benya Remix)

It's not a bad album but...


Markus Schulz should be well known name for everyone who listens to trance. There are many who doesn't like him but he definately is one of the big trance DJ's. Spot of his radioshow have helped him a lot. Global DJ Broadcast happens to be just before A State Of Trance...

Anyway Amsterdam 08 is exactly what you would expect from Schulz. There is nothing special in it. It is just exactly the same mcprog Schulz have played for years now. Pretty slow trance which relies heavily on atmosphere it tries to create. There are some really good mcprog-tracks in this record too but those easily are buried into mess of the same sounding tracks.

Actually it is kinda funny how similar first track (Ghettotech) and the last one (Entry To Heaven) are. Both are the same style and both have those "pling-plong" melodies. And folks, this is the real problem here. When you listen to the album you really get the feeling that it doesn't develop anywhere. It is basically the same kind of track after another. In the end there are couple of "cool" electrotrance tracks but it doesn't change the feeling 1,5 CD's of the album made.

So in my opinion Amsterdam 08 should have been just one CD. It has enough good tracks to keep it fairly interesting for 2,5 hours but it isn't exactly necessary. Instead one CD would have showed for an example Glenn Morrison-tracks in the better light. So in brief it is not a bad album but it is not magnificent either. But fans of Markus will definately like it.

6/10

Ace tracks:

Glenn Morrison - Blue Skies With Linda
Glenn Morrison - Rubberband
Carl & Joni - Forsaken

Ticon - [2AM]



1 1987
2 Zebra Beat
3 Models On Cocaine
4 Weekend Warriors
5 Spitfire
6 In The Box
7 We're Shining
8 2 Am
9 Less Is More

I thought the bandwagon would be full by now


Umm... Ticon. Another act I found thanks to John OO Fleming. Of course I bought Unfold #1 when it was released and soon after that I noticed Ticon's track called Rip It Up. It was nice progtrancer with good atmosphere and without any cheesyness in it. So I checked their 2005-album Zero Six After and it was pretty good. Some tracks were really nice and overall the sound of the album was top notch. And now after 2,5 years Ticon releases their 4th album.

The beginning sounds great. Opening track 1987 is awesome piece of music. It is nice powerful progtrance-track with killer synths and such. It is easily one of the best tracks I have heard in a while. This is the kind of progressive trance you don't hear anymore when it all has turned into slower mcprog. But unfortunately it goes downhill from here.

The rest of the album is a big letdown. For some reason Ticon has decided to jump into electro-bandwagon. So nearly whole album is full of buzzing basslines and those beepy melodies you have heard so much in the last few years. And I thought that this electro-trend would be soon over... Okay I have to admit that there are some nice tracks. Models On Cocaine, Less Is More and 2AM works pretty well. But goddamn how stupid the tracks in the middle are. Buzzing bassline, meaningless melodies and the most annoying lyrics in a while gives really nice experience.

So what can I say about this one? Well it has those few great tracks but all in all it is pretty useless release. I expected so much more from the duo. I know they can do lot better than this album showed. 1987 is a great example.

5/10

Ace tracks:
1987
Models On Cocaine
Less Is More

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Quethas thinks that less is more
frombeyond
PostPosted: 21 February 2008 - 22:39:24 (985)  Reply with quote
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Totally agree with you on the Mikka and Sander reviews... Kuisma's album is awesome, everyone should own it. Sander... well I've said my piece on that.

Check my interview with Miika where he says some really interesting things about the album and his view on life in general.

http://trance.nu/v4/interviews/miika-kuisma-interview

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sleeping
PostPosted: 22 February 2008 - 04:46:55 (240)  Reply with quote
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absolutely agree on the Ticon album. Huge letdown

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sleeping can i be your superman?
Quethas
PostPosted: 08 March 2008 - 12:06:52 (546)  Reply with quote
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DJ Orkidea - Metaverse



1 Orkidea - Metaverse
2 Andy Moor vs. Orkidea - YearZerp
3 Orkidea - Free Dreams
4 David West & Orkidea - God's Garden
5 Solarstone & Orkidea - Slowmotion
6 Orkidea - Stretching Time
7 Lowland & Orkidea - Masochrist
8 Way Out West - Killa (Orkidea vs. Dallas Superstars Remix)
9 Orkidea - Requiem
10 Nightwish - Bye Bye Beautiful (DJ Orkidea Remix)

Thq quality beats quantity


Now is the time. DJ Orkidea releases finally a new trancealbum. It's been already 5 years when glorious Taika was released. After that he has released A Place Called Happiness-compilation and ambient-album called Music Speaks In Thousand Languages. Both were minor releases and Tapio Hakanen officially have stated that Metaverse is basically the second artist-album after Taika.

But before digging deeper I have to remind you that this isn't mostly made by Orkidea himself. Just like much of the greatness of Taika was based on co-producer Niclas Renqvist, this album depends highly on visitors too. Actually only two of the tracks are made just by Orkidea. 4 tracks are produced with Lowland (Petri Alanko) and even 3 of those states that they are written by Lowland. And then again YearZero is mostly Andy Moor, Slowmotion mostly Solarstone and God's Garden mostly David West. Also in the remix of Killa there are very clear Dallas Superstars-influences. But it's the music that matters and as a DJ, Orkidea is one of the best.

Metaverse is the first track on the album. This is the first track produced with Lowland though the sleeves says that it is written by Orkidea himself. But the track is really good one. It uses powerful breakbeat-rhythm alongside with trancemelodies and the voices in the track fits prefectly in. And of course it has really good intro. YearZero is then again well known for the most. No surprise here that it does sound lot of Andy Moor. It has moorish bassline and moorish melodies. But it has some Orkidea-effects and then again the version here is the best one. Free Dreams is purely Orkidea-track and it is mostly a rework of older Orkidea-track. It is basically tranceversion of Dreams Are Free from Music Speaks In Thousand Languages. It sounds nice but it stays in the background.

And next one is Wel... Sorry God's Garden. To be honest I can't hear Orkidea here. It sounds so much like West's Welsh Morphology that it easily could be remix of it. The track itself isn't that bad but it is easily noticeable. Slowmotion is made together with Solarstone and this one is pretty good. It has good melodies and pretty good bassline. Stretching Time is Orkidea's own track and it sounds good. Powerful trance with good melodies and little bit of fitting voices.

And then comes Masochrist. And this is folks really good track. It has moody intro made by piano and then suddenly the kick comes in and you're hooked into powerful rhythm and great atmosphere. This one is one of the best tracks of the year for sure. And then comes Orkidea vs. DSS Remix of Killa. I don't know why Orkidea picked this version into this album when Orkidea Remix is better one. In any case this is not a bad version either. It has so called DSS-bassline and it uses much of the original track but of course it doesn't reach the same level that Way Out West's original track (oh that intro is so good).

And Requiem. Another track made with Lowlands. It uses strings from Lux Aeterna and it is used when trying to make chillier breakdowns. And after those strings there always comes little moment of silence and then boom. Powerful rhythm takes you into control and TB-303 begins to bring it's own unique sound. This is awesome track and I surely hope I can hear it live in the Metaverse-tour. And then Bye Bye Beautiful Remix (made surprisingly with Lowland...). Well this one has two sides. Then again there are some really good melodies here and bassline is really good. But then there are chopped vocals from the track and don't know if that original melody fits here. This one isn't bad track though.

So the album is worthy of checking. It has many good tracks already itself and then there are still unique code which can be used to download extramaterial including completely new track Better Day, older releases like Eternal Love, some exteded mixes and 2 hour Metaverse DJ-mix. So if you haven't ordered this one yet, go and get your own copy. This is very interesting for trancealbum and it doesn't jump into electrobandwagon or follow the current trends. It is an album which sounds like... Orkidea.

9/10

Ace tracks:
Metaverse
Masochrist
Requiem

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Quethas
PostPosted: 16 March 2008 - 18:09:00 (797)  Reply with quote
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Junkie XL - Booming Back At You



01. Booming right at you
02. Cities in dust
03. You make me feel so good
04. Stratosphere
05. Mad pursuit
06. More
07. 1967 poem
08. Zage
09. Clash
10. New toy
11. No way
12. Not enough


Better than the previous album

Oh yeah. Junkie XL is releasing new stuff once again. It is always interesting to hear what Tom Holkenborg has to offer. In the past he has offered a lot of interesting tracks, especially in the beginning. The last album Today wasn't so great but then again it still had a track like Mushroom which clearly shows that there are a lot of potential. And then again single-release for this album (More) wasn't so bad.

The album begins with Booming Right At You. The track is mostly about repeating the titles of the track and album. Background is fairly good electroinfluenced house. The track is pretty short and it's actually good thing here because if track would have been longer, it wouldn't have been interesting. Cities In Dust is more like Today. Heavily guitar and vocal based track is still pretty nice. Rhythm is very strong and vocals singed by Lauren Rocket aren't too bad. When melodies works well, track becomes pleasant experience. You Make Me Feel So Good uses familiar vocalsample which says the tracktitle. Track is pretty slow but electromelodies are nice to listen. Stratosphere is good instrumental. It contiunues in the same parth than the previous tracks but when it takes away the vocals and ridiculously buzzing bassline, the result is very tasty.

But after the good beginning comes Mad Persuit. Slow track with guitar and vocals isn't in this case a good combination. Vocals of Nicole Morier are just passes by and when the soundworld isn't intersting, the result isn't good one. And then comes More. It should be familiar to many. It offers very good chorus (where Pacman is mentioned) which is easy to get hooked. I found that it got stuck in my head. Otherwise the track isn't too bad either. Unfortunately 1967 Poem isn't so food follow-up for More. It is just way too familiar sounding electrohouse without anything catchy. Maybe that little vocalsample where some dude is shouting was meant to be the hook. And Zage doesn't make things better. It has stupid voices all over it and track repeats the same melody for the whole 5 minutes and in the end it gets pitched annoyingly high.

But then comes a good track. Clash has some good vocalsamples and pretty catchy guitars. But it's the bassline which makes this track good. And I could say that it is nice to hear a track without so much electro after a while. New Toy is mostly stupid electro-bollocks b ut the track is saved by more peaceful part which has good melody and nice vocals. No Way is yet another track which is very similar to the others. Certain interesting electo-melodies with little piece of guitar and some vocals. But when the background just isn't interesting enough and chorus isn't as catchy as in More, it becomes just neutral track. But as a disappointment, Tom choosed to pick the worst track into the last. Come on album could have been finished with No Way but instead we have track with one melody, drums and annoying male vocals in the end. Who is this Willoughby anyway? So the fairly good feeling I got from the album is away with this bollocks.

Anyway it is nice to hear that Junkie XL has still made pretty good album. Even though it is somehow jumping into electro-bandwagon, Junkie XL haven't used the most familiar solutions and have kept overbuzzing bassline mostly away. And this album is really different than Today. So this one have some good tracks and it is your choice if it's enough.

6/10

Ace tracks:
Stratosphere
More
Clash

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Quethas
PostPosted: 30 March 2008 - 17:15:18 (760)  Reply with quote
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Juno Reactor - Gods & Monsters



1. Inca Steppa
2. Tokyo Dub
3. Las Vegas Future Past
4. Mind Of The Free
5. Immaculate Crucifixion
6. City Of The Sinful
7. Tanta Pena
8. Perfect Crime
9. Pretty Girl

God is god


I don't even start to count how many albums Juno Reactor have released. But the amount of those is huge. Still except for few tracks and old Bible Of Dreams album I haven't checked them as close as they would earn. So I hope that Gods & Monsters is an album worthy of checking. Don't know really what to expect but I'm interested to hear what JR has to offer.

Already the beginning of the first track Inca Steppa sounds very good. Powerful bassline hits from the first moment. I like the tribal-feeling of this track. The only annoying thing in my opinion are female voices which doesn't really fit. Still it's pretty good track. Tokyo Dub then again just flows. It's nice and mellow track with one vocal line but it's not in my opinion interesting enough. When it's slow it should have something special in it but it stays in the same spot for 7 minutes. The Beginning of the next track (Las Vegas Future Past) sounds very good. It has nice bassline and I like the use of old intruments like piano. And track just grows in the end when it adds powerful melodies and breakbeat rhythm. Great track!

Mind Of The Free is another slow track. It uses again lot of traditional instruments and some male vocals. But in the end you notice just that it just flowed from the ear to another. It's not bad track but it's not as interesting as it could be. And next one is Immaculate Crucifixion and don't skip this one! It is really powerful track. In the beginning there are nice sounding guitar and strings and then there comes "big bang" where electric guitar joins into the track and there comes powerful breakbeat-rhyhtm. And it works d*mn well! City Of The Sinful isn't much worse either. It has powerful bassline to keep track interesting and nice vocals and good rhythm to fulfill it.

And Tanta Pena stays in the same area. Powerful track again with female vocals. That shouting fits into track pretty well and again I like those tribal elements Juno Reactor uses in this track. But the momentum ends here. Perfect Crime is another downtempo track but it sounds pretty poppish with it's male vocals and guitar. To be honest it isn't interesting at all but it's not even the worst track from the album. That title goes to Pretty Girl. The track that ends the album. I can see what Juno Reactor has thought here. They thought that it would be nice to end the album with slow stuff but the result is just... terrible. Male vocals are just horrible here and music in the backroung isn't any better.

So what is the final judgement? Well some tracks in the album are really good. And those tracks fills half of the album. But the major problem here are those two closing tracks which just annoys me. They spoil otherwise top notch album. Also there isn't really theme here. Just pack of tracks in the same album. Anyway it is fairly good album and maybe it's just worthy of buying thanks to those few awesome tracks.

Ace tracks:
Inca Steppa
Immaculate Crucifixion
City Of The Sinful

7/10

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Quethas thinks that less is more
WebmaN
PostPosted: 30 March 2008 - 22:17:11 (970)  Reply with quote
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i agree with you on the ticon album. 1987 is easily the best track on that album. the electro stuff on it isn't that bad, but we've heard it all before..

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Quethas
PostPosted: 01 May 2008 - 20:54:50 (913)  Reply with quote
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Jori Hulkkonen - Errare Machinale Est



1. Gentlemen Prefer Laser
2. Errare Machinale Est Feat. Justine Electra
3. Never Been Here Before Feat. John Foxx
4. Forgive me Father For I Have Synth Feat. Ebb
5. Synthetic Ballad of Charles Darwin Feat. Jimi Tenor
6. Mere Vehicle
7. Character Feat. Jerry Valuri
8. The Descent of Man Feat. Nick Trian
9. Titans Feat. Ernesto

Science


Jori Hulkkonen is one of the biggest names in electronic music who have come from Finland. Yes Orkidea is the biggest but then again both Orkidea and Jori have come a long way since the beginning, both have gained lot of respect around the years and both have defined electronic music in Finland. Still they are almost from a different planet. When Orkidea has lived with his trance-sounds, Jori Hulkkonen have walked much longer path. It begun with more dancefloor oriented music but that all have changed.

Already previous album Dualizm sounded lot like this. It though still had something from the roots of Jori's sound but it showed that Hulkkonen had become artist. A musician trying to create something own. After that Hulkkonen made synthpop-album with Jerry Valuri with the name Processory and this album follows the same tracks.

Like Dualizm and Processory-project this album is mostly synthpop. Not anything undergroundish music listened only a few but easier music but with the touch of something more less common. Hulkkonen likes to use a lot of elements from the 80's but in the positive way and adds them to vocals and new sounds. Love for the new technology is there and you can hear it. You could say that Hulkkonen makes 80's music with completely different machines than 80's did and he does that fine.

Because this album works as a whole. Unlike Dualizm it is nice experience to listen this album straight through. It is nice and peaceful and still electronic. And even though it has vocals in many tracks, those doesn't annoy me. Maybe because Hulkkonen knows that he is doing pop and maybe because vocals doesn't tell about love that left or that you are so in love that you fly in the level of clouds like trance does. And then album is finished with acoustic guitar-track Titans which isn't too bad either.

So all in all this is the best album Hulkkonen has done in a while. It has clearly a nice red line and it sounds nice and mellow. But there are really only two really good tracks (Gentlemen Prefer Laser and Errare Machinale Est) and that really good part tooks only about 10 minutes of the album. Yet one noteable thing. This album is only released in Finland as a CD. Elsewhere it is a digital release but then again digitally it has one extra track (Customs Person). But it is worthy of download.

8/10

Ace tracks:
Gentlemen Prefer Laser
Errare Machinale Est
The Descent Of Man

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Quethas
PostPosted: 11 May 2008 - 18:08:14 (797)  Reply with quote
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Armin van Buuren - Imagine



1. Imagine
2. Going Wrong (With DJ Shah Feat. Chris Jones)
3. Unforgiveable (Feat. Jaren)
4. Face To Face
5. Hold On To Me (Feat. Audrey Gallagher)
6. In And Out Of Love (Feat. Sharon Den Adel)
7. Never Say Never (Feat. Jacqueline Govaert)
8. Rain (Feat. Cathy Burton)
9. What If (Feat. Vera Ostrova)
10. Fine Without You (Feat. Jennifer Rene)
11. Intricacy

Whatever I say I'm wrong


Reviewing Armin van Buuren is a hard thing to do. Whatever my opinion is, I will be bashed. If I say it's a good album, I will be bashed for liking cheesy commercial music which kills the industry and I'm still a newbie in the scene (newbies usually listens Ulrich Schnauss or Guy Gerber). And if I don't like the album, I will be called as elitist (elitists usually listens to Sash! and 2 Unlimited) and die hard Armin-fans will give me the legendary comments like "if you don't like it, don't review it!" or "do better stuff yourself". And I'm serious with it!

Anyway Imagine is a third artist album Armin van Buuren releases. First album 76 was actually pretty nice. It didn't have anything special in terms of sound but tracks like Blue Fear, Communication, Precious and Astronauts are really tasty. Second album Shivers was lot worse but I still think that it's better than it's reputation. It still contains great tracks like Zocalo and Control Freak and vocals in Wall Of Sound sounds pretty good. Now it's time for another album which reached #1 spot in Netherlands album chart. How it works?

Actually first track Imagine is fairly good. After fairly good intro track really begins and it's power works. It has simple but powerful and effective bassline and good anthemic vibe with it. And even though I usually don't like guitar in trance, it works well here. But with Going Wrong Armin is well... going wrong. Okay as a pop track it's fairly good. But it is not really my taste when track has awfully cheesy male vocals and breakdown with guitar (good god how commercial that is!). It reminds me about Filo & Peri's The Anthem. This is better though. And with Unforgivable we go really down. First we have this stupid buzzing bassline and then comes bit of chopped vocals. And then it's fulfilled with meaningless and stupid vocals. In a nutshell, it's track with all the clichés trance nowadays have. But then comes Face To Face (nothing to do with PvD-track). It doesn't have anything special in it. It has melodies used so many times before but some female voices and good pianomelody makes the track enjoyable experience. Actually it's like a fresh wind from the past when anthemic trance actually was enjoyable.

But then Hold On To Me goes back to the sound of Unforgivable. Buzzing "electro-bassline" - checked. Average female vocals - checked. Stupid "electrotrance"melodies - checked. Guitar - checked. So the conclusion is that it's annoying to listen those stupid elements again and again. Nothing interesting there so let's move on. In And Out Of Love has vocals from Sharon Den Adel. Now that is interesting, how singer of Within Temptation fits into trance? Answer is, very well. You can clearly hear that Sharon is as a singer in a whole different level than Audrey Gallagher. Okay the track isn't anything special but it's not bad either. Piano in the middle of the track is nice and bassline or melodies doesn't spoil the track. But then Never Say Never goes back to the bad level. Meaningless female vocals doesn't save the track which doesn't have anything interesting. Highly forgivable bassline and not a real melody in a long time isn't really a good combination. And when the main melody finally kicks in, you can hear that it's not that good either. In the end of track at least I got the feeling that "was that it?". And the Rain is the same thing. Female vocals singing the word "rain" isn't interesting. The best part is the supersaw in the middle but it's highly forgettable too just like the rest of the track. So was that it again?

What If? is similar track again. Highly forgettable vocals doesn't make the track interesting and when there isn't anything so interesting in the track, result is again just decent. Well at least the track doesn't have annoying guitar. And next track has... Jennifer Rene. I haven't ever liked a single track where she sings and I found her highly overrated.But actually I think Jennifer Rene makes her best performance so far. At least from those I have heard. Overall track isn't amazing but I won't bash it either. It's fairly good vocal trancer. Intricacy finalizes the album fairly good. Track sounds much like Sean Tyas but after all it's good epic trance track. It has power and fairly interesting melodies. What annoys me here is that it's nothing special either. It uses old ideas and breakdown is heard probably million times before and this is the thing why I don't find the track so interesting.

So the conclusion. Well at least it's better than In Between. Though this has lot of problems. The main problem here is that this album is highly forgettable. There is just too many vocal tracks, too much clichés and nothing new. But at least this is somehow returning to the roots. Armin seems to have realized that he isn't artist and stupid efforts from Shivers is gone and instead we have vocal trance and uplifting trance here. This isn't in the level of 76. Not even close. This is missing the really good tracks but at least this is way better than I expected. Next time hire some good singers and rating would rise with couple points.

5/10

Ace tracks:
Imagine
Face To Face
Intricacy

_________________
Waiting for albums from Solar Fields, 00.db, Miika Kuisma, Joris Voorn, Gareth Emery, Younger Brother, Eelke Kleijn, Jaytech and Spooky

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Quethas
PostPosted: 24 June 2008 - 14:36:43 (650)  Reply with quote
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Solarstone - Rain Stars Eternal



01. Intro
02. Part Of Me (Original Mix) (Vocals by Elizabeth Fields)
03. Rain Stars Eternal
04. Late Summer Fields (Vocals by Rich Mowatt)
05. Filoselle Skies (Vocals by Julie Scott)
06. Spectrum
07. Lunar Rings (Vocals by Essence)
08. Breakaway (Vocals by Alex Karweit)
09. 4Ever
10. Slave (Vocals by Julie Scott)
11. The Last Defeat Pt. 1

First Solarstone's soloalbum


Oh yes. The good old Solarstone. Rich Mowatt and Andy Bury are responsible for many memories and many great moments which are bond into classics such as Seven Cities and Solarcoaster. Especially Solarcoaster is a piece of art with it's melancholic atmosphere. I remember seeing comment about Solarcoaster which stated that it was the last trancetrack nearly everyone liked. But Solarstone has also made many other great tracks and remixes like their remix for From Russia With Love. But now Solarstone has changed and Andy Bury has left the building making this Mowatt's soloalbum.

While looking at the tracklist you can see immediately one thing. There are pretty many vocaltracks. It isn't necessary bad thing when Solarstone has made some pretty tasty vocaltrance in the past (Speak In Sympathy, Jump The Next Train) but when knowing the current state of trance, it sounds bit worrying. But let's see how album sounds.

Intro is mindless bollocks like intros usually are so let's go into the first track which is called Part Of Me. And it isn't too bad actually. The track reminds me about good old Solarstone. It has little piece of guitar but it doesn't dominate the whole track, vocals are above average and most of all the track has nice bassline and good melodies. The track gives nice summerish feel and it's a nice starter for the album. And then comes Rain Stars Eternal. I liked the track when I heard it but after few listens the bad things became obvious. It doesn't have anything so remarkable and mainmelody just lacks power. Though it is nice to see that the melody is something different but all in all, the track sounds bit incomplete. Anyway the good streak continues with Late Summer Fields. The track has good vocals (made by Rich Howatt?) which obviously have been modified and the trick works nicely. And track has some other good elements too, like a good bassline and good sounding piano in a few place.

And then comes Filoselle Skies. And I found from the beginning that the track will be complete bollocks. The vocals sounds stupid and unnecessary. And then you will find that the track is based on those vocals when there isn't really any melody and just some drums in the background. Then tempo rises again with Spectrum. The beginning sounds very good with TB-303 but unfortunately in the middle of the track mainmelody kicks in and good god it sounds awful. So there was lot of lost potential with that track. Lunar Rings has nice background and stupid vocals. Okay background has some generic elements but it works nicely which makes me wonder is there really a need for vocals. My conclusion is no and I would love to hear dub mix for this one because vocals are meaningless bollocks which just spoils otherwise nice track. Breakaway goes the same way. Pretty nice background is spoiled with malevocals.

But then Rain Stars Eternal goes back on the track with 4ever. The track is clearly descendant for old Solarstone-classics with the trademark Solarstone-guitar. And as a surprise it still works nicely when added some good sidemelodies. Though "forever" sample in this track sounds bit odd the track is good one. But with Slave Julie Scott come again and to be honest the vocals doesn't work at all here either. But unlike Filoselle Skies this track is highly dependant for few melodies and piano. But the vocals are in the front of the track and when those won't work, track doesn't work. Last Defeat (Part One) ends the album with the nice ambient touch with guitar, piano and female voices. In that purpose Last Defeat works just fine and ends the album with pride.

So after few listens the album isn't actually that bad. It still doesn't rise into the elite of the year but it is not as bad as I afraided. The beginning of the album is pretty tasty and some of the vocaltracks are fairly good. But the main problem is the use of meaningless vocals especially in the end of the album. Even with the tracks where there wasn't the need for those. And there isn't next Solarcoaster or Seven Cities in the album I afraid. But did anyone really expect for that kind of killers?

6/10

Ace tracks:
Part Of Me
Late Summer Fields
4ever

_________________
Waiting for albums from Solar Fields, 00.db, Miika Kuisma, Joris Voorn, Gareth Emery, Younger Brother, Eelke Kleijn, Jaytech and Spooky

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Quethas thinks that less is more
Outskirt
PostPosted: 29 June 2008 - 20:18:15 (887)  Reply with quote
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Posts: 6056
^ the Rain Stars Eternal melody isn't that powerful, but that makes the track really good, I think. Agreed for the rest: Lunar Rings and Filoselle Skies are really bad, while 4Ever is a gem. As is Late Summer Fields. 6/10 is a fair score!
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Outskirt is daylights
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