For all the French Trance and progressive music fans, the name of Mr Sam won't be unknown, for those who discover him through this album, it will be difficult to make a correlation between the DJ/producer's productions and this definition of Trance artist.
For those like me who discovered the man through his three compilations Opus, Opus Secundo and Opus Tertio, we will say without any doubt that Mr Sam is certainly what is best done in terms of Progressive and Trance music. It must be said that his three compilations are ultimately perfect in the tracks selection as well as in the mixing quality.
Therefore, I was very attentive to the production of his second solo album which release has been differed many times since it was initially planned for September, according to the artist.
Let us not consider this delay and rather judge the relevance of the French's productions whom was in accordance to his radio show "Made In Trance" supposed to offer a very-oriented in Trance album despite his musical redirections noticed these last months.
Indeed, after the release of tracks such as "Menkayo", "Tantra" and "Rydem Koba" to name a few, we were right to wonder if the artist hadn't turned off the very trancyl music register on which the Trance world vibrated and travelled via his Trance track "Cygnes", one of the wonders of the year 2008.
Given the tracklist, the first thing that shocks is the very large number of tracks, twenty-one to be precise, all gathered on one CD.
Regarding the number of tracks, we could have expected a double album but this isn't the case since all versions are "Radio Edit" and they oscillate between 2:22 and 4:40. According to me, it's a shame and I think that producing less and offering "Original Mix" versions would have been subtler.
After listening and commenting his last and masterful compilation "Opus Tertio", I had come to say that the DJ/producer was matured in his relationship with the music he composes as well as the music he chooses for his sets. However, while listening to this album, I'm finding a Mr Sam yet too indecisive whom juggles with too many different styles although that will surely please some people.
Without naming and describing all the songs of the album (that would take too long!!!), we notice that the French has appealed to many collaborations that some are truly excellent as evidence the songs "Gone", "Hold My Breath" and the very housy-clubbers "Satisfaction Guaranteed" with his long standing Scottish friend, Andy Duguid, the trancyl "The Great Opus" with Brian Transeau alias BT on which the musical beginnings of his old radio show "Made In Trance" intro are found, the magnificent "Carved" feat. T4L bathed in the sweet voice of Tiff Lacey, the instrumental "One Day" feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw in a smooth down register and the little wonder of the French, "Cygnes" in the company of the Italian Claud 9.
All these realizations are unquestionably exemplary even if they oscillate between different music styles, not necessarily specific to the DJ but they still worth showing how Mr Sam is musically open-minded.
Besides that, there are also some very good solo productions of the DJ such as "7 Seven 7" and "Mixi" but here again in too short versions which don't allow the songs to blossom to their full emotional percussion.
If the album had stopped to the tracks I just mentioned, it would have deserved a rating of 5/5 without any doubt, but some tracks unfortunately spoil the release of "Pop Model".
After an introduction particularly uncommon with the voice of a baby in background that may announce the birth of a new era or the rebirth of a being through the musical creation, Mr Sam enchains four songs which are totally out of context to me.
First, "Invincible" yet produced in collaboration with Duguid and "Just The Beginning" which are to me more intended to dancefloors or commercial sets!
For the others, "Ing Ong", "Rydem Koba", "Tantra", "Dominator", "Menkayo" and "Anasthasia", I won't say they're bad because they are endowed with another perception in an entirely different register. These tracks, more destined to a tribal tech-house universe, are truly spots in the French's album to me and sound more like what he produces with Dimitri Andreas under their nickname Mojado. These sounds are also closer to what has been heard since early last summer in his radio show "Made In France", and could lead us to believe in a new musical direction from Mr Sam.
As many ones know, I really am fond of Trance so once again, I don't discredit the DJ's productions, I just emit a very personal opinion in which some will find their way and not others.
While the best way to judge is yet to make an own opinion, I still advise you to listen to this album because no matter which style you like or search for, you should get to find your happiness.