I first heard this album on holiday last year. A friend put it on the CD player while we were having a few beers and it got to Starry Eyed Surprise when a group of us went "that's Oakenfold, really?!?". I recognised Ready, Steady, Go and Southern Sun but was unaware that they came from this album before that.
Skip forward to getting home and I decided to look the album up and couldn't believe the reaction in some quarters, so much so that I wondered if I had the right one. Well I got the album anyway and I still love it.
Full marks to Mr Oakenfold for trying to get away from being typecast as just a remixer and dj. No marks to narrow minded fans for not giving something a chance from outside their own genre. I've can see why this might cause some controversy with the long standing trance fans, but good acts will try different things and this is no different. Some people say this album is schizophrenic. Another way of looking at that is to say it demonstrates versatility.
In summary, if you are just into your 90s Oakenfold, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, van Dyk, etc (and don't get me wrong, I love that stuff too) then excercise caution. Only a couple of tracks fit the trance bill, but a few more wouldn't be out of place on the likes of Another World. Indeed Ready, Steady Go and Southern Sun have unanimous 5-star reviews on this site.
However if you are approaching this from the direction of Massive Attack, The Chemicals, Leftfield, Bjork or anyone in between then I am sure you will like this. Don't be put off by lazy professional reviewers and disillusioned trace fans, and check the US Amazon site if you need to hear this from more people than just me.
As an aside, the other reviewer probably knows the Tiesto mix of Southern Sun, which is pretty well played. However it is worth checking out the Gabriel and Dresden unplugged remix and Solar Stone remix of the track as they are slightly more relaxed and highlight what is an excellent vocal. Thanks then Oakey for introducing me to Carla Werner, who deserves more credit as a singer/songwriter in her own right (but that belongs in another review).